Earthquake and Tsunami information for Langlois and surrounding areas.

Earthquake and Tsunami information for Langlois and surrounding areas.
Submitted by Mike Murphy, Langlois Fire Chief & Coos County Emergency Manager.

On the links below, you will find the latest tsunami inundation maps for our area. They were completed by th Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries in 2012 and reflect the latest science available.

You will notice several colors on the maps. The darker the color, the smaller the earthquake and subsequent tsunami inundation predicted. This is given for reference only. For emergency planning purposes, we MUST use the worst case scenario shown (the brighter yellow areas). If you plan for the worst, you are covered for the “less than worse” case if that is what happens.

The best advice for dealing with this hazard is to become knowledgeable about the hazard, the inundation zone, and the earthquake itself. Once you understand the natural hazard part of the problem, you are then equipped to protect yourself and your loved ones when the event actually happens.

Notice the bright yellow areas on the maps. Those indicate the worst case inundation potential. If you evacuate to areas that are not in the in the worst case inundation, you should be safe from that hazard.

If you look closely, the maps have building footprints on them. You should be able to locate your individual home or business on the map. This will tell you whether you are in the inundation zone, or if you are already in a safe area. If you are in the inundation zone, you can see where the closest high ground and safety is located. Check the maps for your home, your workplace, your shopping areas, and recreation areas. Learn how to get to high ground from any place where you spend any time. We have no idea when this event will occur ,but we do know there won’t be any warning when it does.

If you are in an inundation area, you must head to high ground immediately when the shaking stops. Do not wait for a warning, or any communication from any source. If we have strong shaking, THAT IS YOUR WARNING that a tsunami is on its way. You have approximately 10 minutes before the tsunami inundation arrives. 10 minutes is not a long time—use it wisely. Move immediately to higher ground and safety. You will notice that many areas west of Hwy 101 are in an inundation zone. Move east and up. Most buildings in Langlois were constructed long before there were any earthquake building codes. However, wood frame buildings usually fare pretty well in these types of earthquakes. The Langlois Fire Hall, even though it is a masonry building, has been retrofitted to withstand the earthquake and remain functional. This was done with a seismic retrofit grant which funds these projects. The fire hall will be where the responders will assemble, and where they will likely work from. There are communications capabilities there as well (both public safety radios, and amateur radio as a back up). It is likely that the fire hall will be inundated with people, but that is where help may well be located if it is needed. It is the only publicly owned building east of the highway that is likely to survive the earthquake.

We recommend that each person assemble a "72 hour kit" which consists of disaster supplies to take care of a person for 72 hours. This is a minimum and will likely be wholly inadequate, but it will be way better than nothing. It should be portable and kept with you at all times. These are often referred to as “go bags.” It would be a good idea to have one in your home, one in your vehicle, and one at your workplace. Any supplies are better than nothing, so get started now and add to it as time and resources allow.

Don’t forget to add any necessary medications you need. Also plan some supplies for pets that you may have. There is a list of recommended supplies also on this website. Customize the kit for your use. There are many lists of recommended supplies. All of them differ slightly. Do what is right for you. The important thing is to actually assemble the supplies!

If you cannot find your home or business on the maps, there is an interactive map viewer that will allow you to enter your address and it will show you that address in relation to the inundation zone.

There is lots of information available on the web. You can also ask about various publications through your county emergency manager. In Curry County, Don Kendall, 541-247-2308. In Coos County, Michael Murphy, 541-396-7790. Don’t worry—neither emergency manager is too picky about where you live. Contact either one and request answers to your questions. Group presentations can also be arranged if that is desired.