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Preparedness Moments to Remember
1964 flood
By Julie Black
December 25, 1964
This is the date of the now famous Christmas flood. Heavy rains fell for days on top of a near-record snowfall. The rain and subsequent snow melt caused devastating flooding throughout the city of Salem. Homes, businesses and essential services were destroyed. Then-Governor Mark Hatfield called the flooding, “the worst disaster ever to hit the state.” (Salem Online History)
December 26, 2004
This date saw the Indian Ocean tsunami that in one day killed more than 150,000 people and left millions homeless. The tsunami followed a 9.0 magnitude quake due to a 600-plus-mile long rupture between the India and Burma plates of the earth’s crust. The tsunami traveled 3,000 miles to Africa where it also killed people and destroyed property. “Death struck randomly. People who were together when the tsunami struck were separated in the torrent. Some survived; others succumbed or disappeared. A baby was found floating safely on a mattress.” (National Geographic)
January 12, 2010
This is the day of the unforgettable Haiti earthquake (8.7–9.2) that according to official estimates killed 316,000, injured 300,000 and displaced 1.3 million people in southern Haiti. (USGS)
January 17, 1994
On this date, the Northridge, California, earthquake (6.7) killed 60 people, injured more than 7,000, left 20,000 homeless and damaged more than 40,000 buildings. (USGS)
January 26, 1700
This was the night of the last known major Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake (9.0). The quake stretched 600 miles affecting California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. The resulting tsunami damaged the west coast of what are now the United States and Canada, as well as the coast of Japan. (USGS)
February 27, 2010
On this day, the 8.8 magnitude Chilean earthquake killed at least 523 people and displaced 800,000. Property damages alone included 370,000 houses, 4,013 schools, 79 hospitals and 4,200 boats. (USGS)
February 28, 2001
This is the date that the Nisqually Earthquake, a 6.8 magnitude quake, shook the southern Puget Sound of Washington state. The shaking lasted about 40 seconds. It is estimated that the quake caused $250 million in property damage to state-owned buildings alone. (Washington Department of Natural Resources)