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High chance of major Oregon earthquake: Study

Published on Aug 2, 2012 5:55 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The western United States state of Oregon has a 40 per cent chance in the next half-century of suffering a massive earthquake on the scale of Japan's 2011 disaster, a study said on Wednesday.

The Pacific Northwest - from the Oregon-California border to Vancouver Island in Canada - has endured 19 huge earthquakes of around 8.7-9.2 magnitude over the past 10,000 years, Oregon State University researchers said.

An additional 22 major earthquakes have impacted only the southern part of the so-called Cascadia fault that runs from the Oregon areas of Coos Bay to Newport, the study said.

"The southern margin of Cascadia has a much higher recurrence level for major earthquakes than the northern end and, frankly, it is overdue for a rupture," the study's lead author Chris Goldfinger said in a statement.

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