The New Yorker follows up with earthquake, tsunami instructions, saying Portland faces enhanced threats

- Published: 29 July 2015
The New Yorker follows up with earthquake, tsunami instructions, saying Portland faces enhanced threats

The New Yorker posted Schulz's follow-up piece Tuesday. Schulz writes that, "In Portland, a city whose citizens have successfully lobbied for curbside composting and hundreds of miles of bike lanes, parents send their children off every morning to brick schools that have not been retrofitted."

Schulz also writes that a magnitude-9 earthquake will place Portland in a unique predicament as damage blocks heavy vehicles such as fire trucks and ambulances.

She writes: "Portland could be in particular trouble in this respect because, by a sociopolitical quirk," i.e., lower tax rates, "the majority of the city's emergency responders live across the Columbia River, in Vancouver, Wash. –- a short commute on a normal day, but a nearly impossible one after the earthquake, since, at present, no bridges over the Columbia are expected to survive."

The New Yorker published Schulz's first article, "The really big one," in mid-July. The story reignited concern and debate over the massive earthquake and tsunamithat scientists predict will hit the Northwest someday. Schulz reported that in a worst-case scenario, experts believe almost 13,000 people will die after the offshore Cascadia fault ruptures along its full 700-mile length.

The latest New Yorker article, "How to stay safe when the big one comes,"features a series of questions and answers on the consequences of the earthquake, the tsunami and their aftermath – and how best to prepare.

The story urges tourists to visit the Northwest coast by day, but not to spend the night in the tsunami inundation zone, which like the fault stretches from Cape Mendocino, Calif., to Vancouver Island, Canada.

"It's one thing for locals who know their way around to get themselves to safety in a tsunami," Schulz writes. "But, as a tourist, you don't want to wake up in the middle of the night in the middle of an earthquake in a strange town and realize that you have no idea how to find a flashlight, let alone high ground."