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Byline: Saul Hubbard The Register-Guard

U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio will host a roundtable discussion on earthquake preparedness on Tuesday at the University of Oregon.

The discussion, which is open to the public, will focus on earthquake resiliency efforts and early warning systems. It will feature researchers from the UO and Oregon State University as well as officials and scientists from several state and federal agencies.

Interest in the possibility of a major earthquake that could devastate the Pacific Northwest has spiked since a July article in The New Yorker magazine about the threat posed by the Cascadia subduction zone. Researchers believe there's a 10 to 20 percent chance over the next 50 years that the subduction zone will cause a magnitude 9 earthquake and resulting tsunami.

DeFazio, the leading Democrat on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, has championed legislation that would require the Federal Emergency Management Agency to pay for an earthquake early warning system for the Pacific Northwest.

The ShakeAlert early warning system is in development for the West Coast but lacks the funding to be completed and maintained. It would use sensors to detect the beginning of an earthquake and would send warnings to residents, government agencies, and mass transportation systems. The notifications would be sent out much like AMBER Alerts are used for child abductions. The farther a person is from the area where an earthquake starts, the more time they would have after the warning goes out. The system would cost $38 million to finish developing and then an estimated $16 million a year to operate.

Another, more expensive proposition would involve installing more offshore seismometers and pressure gauges in order to establish constant, real-time monitoring of the subduction zone. EARTHQUAKE PREPAREDNESS ROUNDTABLE When: Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. Where: University of Oregon, HEDCO Education Building, Room 230T Also: Space is limited. Those wishing to attend are asked to contact DeFazio's Eugene office at 541-465-6732.

Follow Saul on Twitter @SaulAHubbard. Email

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Title Annotation:Environment; This is a QuickRead set in two col the same, but the rule is gone The congressman's event will focus on temblor preparedness
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Sep 19, 2015
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