A massive tsunami and earthquake are predicted for the Pacific Northwest — sometime. And when that happens, over 10,000 people could die.

Those are just the highlights of a new report from researchers at the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission. The report was presented last week to legislators in Oregon, who commissioned a study about what would happen if a tsunami and earthquake like the one which hit Japan ended up hitting the Pacific Northwest instead.


The report also said that from an economic standpoint, the damage could reach $32 billion and stretch from Northern California up to British Columbia. Researchers emphasized that it isn’t a matter of if a disaster like this happens, but when.

In fact, they also said that a quake like this is overdue. Researchers said the last time a huge quake like the one they’re talking about occurred way back  in 1700.

According to the report, Japan and Oregon are mirror images of each other. Researchers also said that even though Japan sustained major damage in the 2011 quake and tsunami, it was actually more prepared for it than Oregon would be; Japan has spent billions to put technology in place to reduce the amount of damage that was done.

Authorities up and down the Pacific Northwest coast have been analyzing if they are ready for something of this magnitude ever occur. They’ve come to the realization that the area isn’t ready.

Experts from various agencies in Oregon are now explaining to legislators how they are preparing for a disaster like the one that happened in Japan.