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By air and by bike, Northwest civilian pilots and cyclists rehearse delivering aid after ‘The Big One’

By air and by bike, Northwest civilian pilots and cyclists rehearse delivering aid after ‘The Big One’

A huge dress rehearsal for regional earthquake disaster relief was supposed to happen next week until the ongoing pandemic forced its cancellation. The scrubbed Cascadia…

Thursday, Jun 09

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A huge dress rehearsal for regional earthquake disaster relief was supposed to happen next week until the ongoing pandemic forced its cancellation. The scrubbed Cascadia Rising exercise would have involved more than 22,000 participants – chiefly U.S. soldiers, sailors and airmen as well as state, local and tribal emergency planners. Some smaller drills are going ahead this weekend and next featuring civilian volunteers who will demonstrate unusual ways aid may get to Pacific Northwest earthquake survivors.

This Saturday, June 11, around 40 to 50 cargo bike riders will compete in a disaster relief drill in Portland. The following weekend, June 18, more than 100 private pilots from Oregon, Washington and British Columbia will take to the skies to shuttle food from airfield to airfield in another mock quake relief effort.

The drill scenarios entail a magnitude 9.0 full rip of the offshore Cascadia earthquake fault from Vancouver Island to northern California – aka "The Big One." That brings widespread devastation west of the Cascade Range in Oregon and Washington state. The highways to the east, north and south are severed. Private pilots and cyclists will separately take to the air and the streets this month to practice delivering relief supplies after a catastrophic earthquake. In this worst-case scenario, help will come from above said aptly named Sky Terry, the Northwest regional director of the Emergency Volunteer Air Corps . Terry likened his organization’s one-day exercise on June 18 to a “Berlin Airlift effort.”

"The other analogy would be the China-Burma hop in […]

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