Wednesday, January 13, 2010

International Response Fund

You can help the victims of countless crises, like the recent earthquake in Haiti, around the world each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster, please do so at the time of your donation by mailing your donation with the designation to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013 or to your local American Red Cross chapter. Donations to the International Response Fund can be made by phone at 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) or online at

Information from: Althea Turner Geologic Hazards Program CoordinatorOregon Emergency

Oregon lies at a convergent continental boundary where two tectonic plates are colliding. There are over 1000 earthquakes over magnitude 1.0 in Washington and Oregon every year, with at least two dozen being large enough to be felt. Approximately 17 people have lost their lives due to earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest. Since 1872, there have been 20 damaging earthquakes in Washington and Oregon[1]. The Pacific coast poses special risk from tsunamis associated with a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. In addition to Subduction zone earthquakes, Oregon is also susceptible to crustal earthquakes. The two largest earthquakes in recent years in Oregon, Scotts Mills, (magnitude 5.6) and the Klamath Falls, main shocks (magnitude 5.9 and magnitude 6.0) of 1993 were crustal earthquakes[2].

In recognition of this seismic risk, Oregon has taken measures to mitigate and prepare for the inevitable destructive earthquakes and tsunami. In the 1990s, Oregon began to revise the Uniform Building Code to reflect the recent research showing the higher risks from earthquakes[3]. Many schools, public buildings and critical infrastructure were built previous to the newer, more stringent codes, and are susceptible to failure in a seismic event. According to a 2007 Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) report, over 1000 schools and 200 emergency facilities are at a high or very high risk of “probability that the building will collapse if ground motions occur that are equal to or exceed the maximum considered earthquake at that location.”[4]

[1] Retrieved June 24, 2009
[2] Retrieved June 24, 2009
[3] Retrieved June 24, 2009
[4] DOGAMI Open-File Report O-07-02. p. iv.