Is the ‘big one’ coming? SOU professor says no

MEDFORD, Ore. — There is no tsunami threat after dozens of recent earthquakes off the Oregon coast. The National Weather Service says several earthquakes more than a magnitude 5 were detected, about 200 to 250 miles west of Newport.

Two earthquakes measured in at 5.3 and 5.5., both just before 2 P.M. Later in the day, three more — all measuring over a magnitude 5 — hit, followed by a series of smaller quakes in the same area.

These quakes beg the question, is the ‘big one’ coming? Emeritus Southern Oregon University Professor Eric Dittmer says no. “It’s another opportunity to learn, it’s the first time I’ve seen that big of a swarm, but it’s not unprecedented.”

The ‘Juan de Fuca‘ plate off the coast is building pressure under the North American plate. It hasn’t made a major earthquake in over 300 years. Scientists predict a 37 percent chance of a 7.1 magnitude earthquake in the next 50 years.

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Madison LaBerge
Madison LaBerge is the anchor of NBC5 News Weekends at 6 and 11. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Madison is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She loves living in the Pacific Northwest. She can't get over "how green everything is!" When Madison is not at work, she looks for new and exciting cooking recipes and explores Southern Oregon. Feel free to send her story ideas or the address of your favorite Mexican food restaurant!
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