Report: 'Big One' earthquake would decimate area's gas supply

Earthquake seismic chart

A sweeping new study suggests that Oregon would face dramatic fuel shortages, natural gas outages and blackouts should a catastrophic earthquake strike.

The report, called the Earthquake Risk Study for Oregon’s Critical Energy Infrastructure Hub, maintains that several hubs near Portland are 100 years old or older, placing their materials at great risk should a catastrophic earthquake strike.

The Northwest News Network reported that energy companies questioned whether they’d incur liability if they perform their own seismic assessments.

Oregon has a high concentration of liquid fuels stored along a short six-mile stretch of the Willamette River in Portland Harbor.

The Oregon Department of Geologic and Mineral Industries examined what could happen during a magnitude 8 or 9 earthquake.

Such an event could cause pipes to break, fuel storage tanks to rupture and transmission towers to crumple.

Several environment proponents have begun making the case that resiliency in the face of disasters is a key part of sustainability.


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