Bend ‘worse-case scenario’ command center in big earthquake

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A new state report says Bend would be the center of the state’s emergency response in the worst-case scenario of a catastrophic earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the Oregon Coast.

The Bulletin reports that the Oregon National Guard Youth Challenge Program’s Bend campus is the fallback site for the state’s Emergency Coordinating Center if the current command center and two other locations in Salem are knocked out.

The Bend site was listed as backup Emergency Coordinating Center in the state’s newly revised Cascadia Playbook, a 100-page outline of actions to be taken in the first hours and days after the disaster. The playbook covers the first two weeks after an earthquake.

Scientists have predicted a possible 9.0 scale earthquake and subsequent tsunami along the 700-mile subduction zone could kill up to 25,000 people in the Pacific Northwest. Areas east of the Cascades are expected to escape with light to moderate damage.