February 22 Marks the M6.3 Christchurch Earthquake Anniversary

The earthquake sequence that struck the city of Christchurch and surrounding Canterbury region in 2010-2011 has had unprecedented impacts in all spheres of New Zealand society.  The Canterbury earthquake sequence had many geologically remarkable characteristics, with ramifications for all aspects of life in the region. To commemorate the anniversary of the most devastating, M6.3 Christchurch earthquake of February 22, 2011 CREW highlights some of the key lessons which can be found here.

New Earthquake Mitigation Video “Preparing Portland Schools” Released

PORTLAND, OREGON —Preparing Portland Schools” is a four-minute documentary film about the earthquake safety retrofit of Alameda Elementary School in Northeast Portland written, directed, and produced by three Grant High School students during summer 2013. With a backdrop of retrofit project construction at Alameda and a soundtrack composed and performed by one of the filmmakers, the film explores the risk posed to Portland schools by a major Cascadia earthquake and the steps that can be taken to make historic buildings safer. Critically, it adds a missing piece: a student view of earthquake safety and school modernization. The film includes short interviews with Carmen Merlo, Director of the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management and Mike Kubler, President of Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup (CREW).  “It’s not that much time.  It’s not that much money. It can be done”, said Mike Kubler.  “We can make the building a safer place.”

The film was made possible with financial support from CREW via a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It was created under the aegis of the Hollywood Theatre Studio at Grant High School, a partnership between the public high school and the not-for-profit Hollywood Theatre, which supplied cameras, editing equipment, and a creative advisor for the project. CREW President Mike Kubler is a local emergency manager and a Portland Public School parent. School safety advocate Ted Wolf served as project advisor and coordinator.

The newly released video can be found on YouTube: Preparing Portland Schools  Other free materials to help Cascadia residents, schools, businesses, and emergency managers become better prepared for future earthquakes are accessible online at CREW..

Filmmakers:

  • Alex Pozarycki – Grant High School (GHS) class of ’13 now a student at Evergreen State College in Olympia
  • Noah Puggarana – senior at GHS
  • Harrison Soltvedt- senior at GHS &
  • Emilie Currin, creative advisor; affiliated with Pacific Northwest College of Art

Insurance Bureau of Canada reports on potential earthquake impacts

A new scientific study on the impact of a major earthquake in Canada, released in Ottawa on October 29th, 2013, by Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), leaves no doubt that Canada is not prepared to handle a major earthquake, which could happen at any time, and that the economic impact would be significant. IBC commissioned the study by AIR Worldwide, global experts in catastrophe modeling. The study is a peer-reviewed analysis of the impact of two major seismic events: one in British Columbia (western scenario) and the other in the Quebec City-Montreal-Ottawa corridor (eastern scenario).

CREW Releases New Cascadia Earthquake and Tsunami Scenario

On January 26, 1700 an estimated M9 earthquake unzipped the 700+ mile Cascadia Subduction Zone fault from northern California, USA to southern British Columbia, Canada, much like recent events in 2011 in Japan and 2010 in Chile. The newly released “Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquakes: A Magnitude 9.0 Earthquake Scenario” examines how the Pacific Northwest may fare after the next great ‘megathrust’ earthquake and tsunami. “The new report conveys the most current scientific and emergency planning information accessible to a wide variety of audiences.” said Tamra Biasco of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, one of the lead authors.

The new report by the Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup (CREW) summarizes not only why these earthquakes occur repeatedly, but also the likely consequences of the next Cascadia fault rupture. Future Cascadia earthquakes and tsunamis will have lasting impacts to coastal communities and the potential to inflict tens of billions of dollars in physical damage, dramatically impacting the region’s economy.

Written by a team of social scientists, emergency managers, earth scientists, engineers, public administrators, and businessmen under the umbrella of CREW, the new scenario provides a guide to citizens curious about the geologic processes that make the Pacific Northwest so rich in natural beauty and resources, to planners wanting to know what hazards they face, and to policy makers striving to make the Pacific Northwest more resilient.

The newly released “Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquakes: A Magnitude 9.0 Earthquake Scenario” can be found here and other free preparedness materials to help Cascadia residents, schools, businesses, and emergency managers become better prepared for future earthquakes are accessible under products.  Production of the new scenario was made possible with support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and CREW’s member organizations.

CREW Safe Schools Position Statement on EQ Safety

The CREW Board recently adopted a Safe Schools Position Statement on earthquake safety on schools in the Cascadia Region. Please find the statement here: Safe Schools Position Statement.

The CREW Board of Directors strongly supports the recent seismic upgrade conducted at Central Elementary School in Albany, Oregon. The upgrade will help to protect elementary school children, teachers, staff and visitors from damaging earthquakes as well as improve the resilience of the community during earthquake recovery. This safety upgrade is consistent with CREW’s 2013 Safe Schools Position Statement on Earthquake Safety and Schools in the Cascadia Region. Grant funds were provided by the State of Oregon’s Seismic Grant Rehabilitation Program. An additional $15 million in grant funds for schools is pending Legislative support in the current session. A celebration event was held on April 24th, and will included a school earthquake drill as well as a tour highlighting the seismic upgrades. News articles are available at:

http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20130424/OPINION/304240071/Wolf-plan-retire-Oregon-s-most-dangerous-schools?nclick_check=1

http://www.opb.org/news/article/its-a-big-deal-preparing-schools-for-a-big-threat/