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Aug-21-2006 19:48printcomments

Oregon Civil Air Patrol Expands Seismic Survey Mission

The exercise will be used not only to gather information for the USGS, but will also serve to train new and existing air crews and ground personnel in disaster response and to effectively utilize new technology in disaster triage, rescue and recovery operations" said Traver.

Oregon CAP helo
Oregon Civil Air Patrol
Photo courtesy: Thomas Traver/Oregon CAP Public Affairs

(SALEM) - The Oregon Wing of the Civil Air Patrol and the United States Geological Survey, will participate in a 6 state seismic survey event the weekend of August 25th-27th.

Oregon's CAP will operate out of Willamette Aviation at the Aurora State Airport with 5 aircraft and up towards 50 personnel.

Other CAP wings participating in the exercise will hail California, Alaska, Hawaii, and Nevada. Oregon CAP will be transporting simulated USGS personnel from Seattle to Redding and will also be conducting photo and reconnaissance flights in both Washington and Oregon.

The exercise began August 16th with over 22 flights in Oregon to date with aircraft operating out of bases in Salem, Aurora,Bend,Redmond and Medford.

The seismic survey event, involving volcanic as well as earthquake activity, will involve over 75 aircraft and corresponding air crews, ground support personnel and communications specialists, will be part of a national program to better understand and respond to local seismic danger spots and practice emergency response to a major seismic event in the Pacific Northwest.

Oregon CAP will be utilizing its Satellite Digital Imaging System to provide real-time aerial digital photography capabilities.

"While this exercise is SIMULATED, actual targets are based on real historical events and research that have identified points of specific interest" said CAP spokesman, Lt.Col. Thomas Traver, public affairs officer for the Oregon Wing of the CAP. "The photos taken are of targets identified by the USGS and will be actually used by the USGS research team to further their understanding and knowledge of local geology as it pertains to potential future seismic events." he added.

"This exercise will be used not only to gather information for the USGS, but will also serve to train new and existing air crews and ground personnel in disaster response and to effectively utilize new technology in disaster triage, rescue and recovery operations" said Traver.

According to the USGS , volcanoes are not randomly distributed over the Earth's surface. Most are concentrated on the edges of continents, along island chains, or beneath the sea forming long mountain ranges.

More than half of the world's active volcanoes above sea level encircle the Pacific Ocean to form the circum-Pacific "Ring of Fire." . There are more than 500 active volcanoes (those that have erupted at least once within recorded history) in the world -- 50 of which are in the United States (Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California) -- although many more may be hidden under the seas.

If high enough in magnitude, earthquakes will cause Tsunamis. Between June 30th and July 11th, 2006, there were sixteen earthquakes on the western coastline of Alaska between 4.4 and 5.9 magnitude, none of which was strong enough to create a tsunami. As of May 30, 2006 there were 29 Tsunami ReadyTM sites in 7 states, with 4 on the west coast of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and California

For more information on Oregon CAP please go to www.orwg.cap.gov or our national web site please go to www.cap.gov.

Preparation for disastrous earthquakes created by high intensity seismic activity can be found at www.ready.gov; www.fema.gov or from the www.geophys.washington.edu/recenteqs.

For more information on the Pacific Rim and "Ring of Fire" www.vulcan.wr.usgs.gov

For information on seismic activity in relation to the Pacific Ocean and Pacific Rim States: www.legislative.noaa.gov/Testimony/johnson012605.pdf

Editor's note... A photo used previously for this story showed a helicopter and stated that the aircraft was with Oregon Civil Air Patrol. It has been brought to our attention that there are not any helicopters currently in use by the Oregon CAP. This photo depicts the correct type of aircraft.




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