Monday, February 4, 2013

Geo 365: Feb. 4, Day 35: Alsea Spit

Looking from a pullout along Route 101, just south of the town of Waldport, across Alsea Bay to the heavily developed Alsea Spit. Oregon land use laws allowed development of a number of these spits during the 1960's and 70's. The seismic and tsunami risks were not really grasped until the late 8o's, and I've seen claims that they weren't taken terribly seriously by the general public until the aftermath of the Tohoku quake, and the relatively small tsunami that followed. I would feel okay visiting a spot like the one we're looking at here, though I would definitely be thinking about fastest escape routes on the way in, and feel a little jittery until we were back on the mainland. But you'd never catch me sleeping overnight in a spot like this, let alone setting up house. This is an extremely hazardous situation.

Photo unmodified. March  8, 2012. FlashEarth Location.

Followup: My, this is timely! "Cascadia earthquake, tsunami could cost Oregon economy $30 billion" Also, the Draft Executive Report that article is about is scary, must-read stuff for those of us living on this side of the Cascades, from southern BC to Northern CA- I'm sure similar risks are in place throughout the region, not just Oregon. The nice part of this report though, is that the risks have been soberly assessed, and there's a plan to address our vulnerabilities. Don't let the 21-page length put you off- there's a lot of blank space, and the font is large, with generous spacing between sections. The number of pages with substanctive information is about ten, and taking into account the layout, it's probably only five pages or less of reading in a more typical, condensed format. Also, it's very clear, and not very technical. Please read this item!

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