Originally posted on http://ift.tt/13mgxE0 :
Indeed, it is a project worth protesting!
This guest opinion was published in the Grants Pass Daily Courier today.—————————————————————————————————-Pipeline vulnerable to earthquake (Guest Opinion)By Harry SmedesThe purpose of this report is two-fold: 1. To recap the history and effects of a gigantic earthquake, and 2. To discuss the dangers of a proposed liquid natural gas pipeline that would cross the zone of maximum destruction of that earthquake.There have been a lot of articles in the newspapers about earthquakes. A recent one being in Nepal that killed more than 6,000 people and caused a massive landslide and avalanche off of Mount Everest. Other large earthquakes include Jamaica, Chile, Japan, and Anchorage. Many smaller ones have occurred in the U.S., including at Klamath Falls, Scotts Mill south of Portland, and mid-continent USA, for example. Because of its importance and the fact that experts say that that gigantic earthquake is nine months pregnant, I repeat here a summary of the predicted event.The quake will be caused by abrupt movement of an ocean plate that is sliding down beneath the North American plate and is presently locked. Washington and Oregon would be affected most violently. That zone is called the Cascadia Subduction Zone. The resulting magnitude 9-plus fault is called the Cascadia fault.In contrast to events we have experienced where the shaking lasts 30 or 40 seconds, this one will continue shaking violently for more than 4 minutes. During the first shock and the shaking, crouch under a sturdy table if you can. Or lie next to a large fixture such as a desk or couch. Stay away from windows and go to an interior wall. If you are in bed, roll onto the floor beside the bed, not under, and cover your head with a pillow. Even if you could, do not try to go outside until after the shaking stops. Strong aftershocks will continue for many days or weeks, and it may not be safe to go back into your house until it can be inspected for structural damage.Modern structures built for seismic safety will succumb to that long shaking. Buildings and bridges will collapse in a pile of rubble. Fires will flare up throughout the region. Roads will buckle and become impassable. More than 10,000 people will be killed. Power, water, and sewage systems will be cut off. The few people who could manage to walk to a grocery store would soon empty the entire supplies of the store if the store has not collapsed and is accessible. Supply trucks will not be able to come in and we will not be able to drive out. Most survivors will be confined to their immediate neighborhood. You will probably be camping out in your front yard. You had better have emergency supplies of food, water, medicines, etc. But don't store those supplies in your house or garage, because those structures probably would have collapsed and become inaccessible. Learn first aid and how to obtain and prepare fresh water from the environment. Prepare plans and rehearse them. Include a Plan B. Most people will "freeze," but those who had studied, planned and prepared will act and stimulate others to action.The Cascadia fault has produced gigantic earthquakes for ages. The most recent one was in 1700, some 315 years ago. The average recurrence interval for the earthquakes is about 240 years. That means that some occur more frequently, and some take longer. However, it is way past its average recurrence. Not only that, the scientists are measuring the deformation that is occurring prior to release of the giant earthquake. I repeat, experts say that the Cascadia earthquake is 9 months pregnant.Back to the pipeline: The major LNG pipeline is planned to be built from near the California border south of Klamath Falls, westward 223 miles to a port in Coos Bay. In the voluminous discussions and reports regarding that proposed pipeline, I have not found any discussion of the earthquake and the damage that would occur. The pipeline will cross the most intense zone of destruction — it would rupture in numerous places and spill into the environment, polluting the soil and the groundwater.This seems like a proposal worth protesting.———Harry Smedes, Ph.D, is a retired research geologist for the U.S. Geological Survey.