Washington, D.C. – Sen. Ron Wyden today pushed the Trump administration to fully fund essential preparedness functions that could save thousands of lives if a major earthquake or tsunami struck Oregon.
In a hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Wyden urged U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Deputy Director David Applegate to not repeat the Trump administration’s misguided approach from last year that proposed to eliminate funding for the USGS’s West Coast earthquake early warning system, ShakeAlert.
“Earthquakes and tsunamis are deadly serious business for the West Coast,” Wyden said. “It’s not a question of if, but when, West Coasters will need to call on federal resources and support. It’s absolutely crucial our earthquake early warning system is up, running, and ready to warn us if the worst should happen.”
According to the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, the West Coast could soon experience an earthquake of the magnitude of the 2011 Japanese earthquake that killed more than 18,000 people.
Wyden is a senior member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.