Two former Klamath Falls residents will discuss their experiences with a devastating earthquake and the potential for a massive quake that some expect will rattle the Pacific Northwest in the next 20 years.
The husband-wife team of Steve Eberlein and Lydia Ledgerwood-Eberlein, both Klamath Falls natives, have formed Tipping Point Resilience, which is working with communities and businesses in Oregon, Northern California, Washington and British Columbia on how to prepare for a likely earth-shaking earthquake. Scientists estimate there is a 40% chance of a significant earthquake hitting the West Coast within the next two decades.
The couple will discuss how to prepare for an earthquake at a Tipping Point Resilience Earthquake Preparedness Event, a free program set for 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Ross Ragland Theater.
Steve and Lydia were living in Sri Lanka when a 9.1 quake near Indonesia triggered a tsunami that took 230,000 lives in 16 countries, including 35,000 lives in Sri Lanka. Lydia served as a senior leader in Sri Lanka during one of the largest disaster relief operations in human history. Since returning to the U.S., Steve has served as a leading voice in West Coast earthquake preparedness. Through their company, Tipping Point Resilience, they aim to spark cultures of preparedness in places waiting major earthquakes in the U.S.
According to Eberlein, scientists have found evidence of up to 43 earthquakes exceeding 8.0 and 9.0 on the Richter Scale in the Cascadia Subduction Zone spanning Northern California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia over the last 10,000 years with an average recurrence of one catastrophic level quake every 250 years. As a major earthquake has not occurred since 1700, scientists believe there is a 40% probability that it will occur in the next 20 years.
Steve and Lydia have developed a program especially targeted for Klamath Falls that will explore the possible impacts of a Cascadia event on the Klamath Basin. A local panel of experts will participate in a discussion aimed at helping people understand the science, disaster response, infrastructural and economic impacts of a possible Cascadia event.
The couple has become known as experts with information and ways to prepare for a possible significant earthquake. Steve, the main speaker, has shared his message with more than 200 groups and more than 20,000 people over the last several years.
Presenting sponsors for the upcoming earthquake preparedness presentation are Sky Lakes Medical Center and the Herald and News. Other sponsors include the city of Klamath Falls, Avista, Wendt Family Foundation, Klamath Community Development Corporation, D. A, Davidson, Rotary and Windemere Real Estate.