SEASIDE, Ore. – Residents along the Oregon coast breathed a sigh of relief as tsunami advisories were lifted after a 7.7-magnitude earthquake in British Columbia Saturday.
There were no reports of injuries or serious damage.
Tsunami warnings and advisories for Canada, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii were lifted Sunday. For coastal Oregon residents, it was a reminder that they can no longer take tsunami threats lightly.
Background: 7.7 quake off BC, tsunami advisory issued
The advisory was limited to southern Oregon, but there were tense moments along the entire coast over the weekend.
Ben Scott and his wife just bought a vacation home in Gearheart.
“We started looking on the news because we’re from Connecticut—where Hurricane Sandy was about to make landfall—when we discovered there had been an earthquake and there were tsunami warnings and alerts” along the Oregon coast, he said.
Residents of Gearhart and Seaside told KGW that they seldom took tsunami warnings and advisories seriously before Japan’s March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, but that everything has changed since then.
The Oregon coast was impacted by that event; a man in Brookings died when he was swept to sea, and many boats moored in southern Oregon were destroyed or damaged.
“Seemed everyone was pretty scared about it,” said surfer Kurt Heine.
Geologically speaking, the “big one” is already overdue. Experts say a large tsunami generated by a local earthquake would likely hit the coast within five minutes of the quake.
Several seaside communities now conduct tsunami drills on a regular basis.
KGW Reporter Wayne Havrelly contributed to this report