“Are we about to experience a severe natural disaster?”
– Resident, Rogue Valley, Oregon on March 19, 2018
Rogue Valley, Oregon, is 11 miles north of Medford. It’s in southwestern Oregon along the middle Rogue River and its tributaries in Josephine and Jackson counties near the California border. The largest communities in Rogue Valley are Medford, Ashland and Grants Pass.
March 21, 2018 UPDATE from Earthfiles Viewer:
March 21, 2018
We live in Coos Bay, Oregon, on the coast. We usually have LOTS of hummingbirds, 7 – 10, that will all feed at the same time. We have four feeders outside of our house. There hasn’t been even one hummingbird in the past week. Yesterday we took the feeders down, cleaned them out and made fresh food. Nothing. Not one hummingbird.
So, your article was timely and interesting.
Thank you, Linda, for Earthfiles.
Coos Bay resident
March 19, 2018 Rogue Valley, Oregon – Earthfiles has been receiving worried emails from viewers and listeners who sense that something is significantly wrong in a number of American communities — ranging from absence of insects and pollinators to missing birds. This morning I received the following email from a man who has lived in southwestern Oregon’s Rogue Valley eleven miles north of Medford for 30 years. What he describes in his email are such striking changes around him that he now wonders if a large seismic event is about to happen and the birds at least know in advance.
To: Linda Moulton Howe
Re: SOMETHING’S NOT RIGHT IN SOUTHERN OREGON
Date: March 19, 2018
“I live on twenty acres on the tip of a mountain that overlooks the entire Rogue Valley. I live among a vast array of wildlife, and I pay particular attention to the avian population.
Normally, the Vultures arrive back in the Rogue Valley around the first week in March, but this year the Vultures started returning the first week in February in small numbers, but it was still significant because I’d never seen that before in the nearly 30 years I’ve lived here.
My hummingbirds are legion and I feed them with up to four large feeders. The Anna Hummingbirds stay all through the winter, while their smaller brethren return from the south arrive about the same time as the Vultures. Not only have the smaller Hummingbirds not returned yet, but all of a sudden, my huge population of Anna Hummingbirds have vanished completely and I haven’t had to fill a single feeder in at least a full week.
But what has really got my attention is the fact the Swallows have not yet returned, and that, more than any other barometer, tells me something is very, very wrong. The Swallows always return the first week of March too, but this is March 18th, and they are nowhere to be seen.
This winter has been relatively mild, with very low precipitation. It has gotten cold, but not as cold as previous years. California got a lot of rain due to El Nino, but again, not enough to disrupt a natural cycle.
Are we about to experience a severe natural disaster? While science has never recognized proof of strange animal behavior prior to a major natural disaster, there has been ample anecdotal input from observers like myself that animals can detect a major natural disaster about to happen.”
Cascadia Subduction Zone
“The Pacific Northwest hasn’t been rocked by a major earthquake from the Cascadia Subduction Zone in about 330 years, yet science has established that the Cascadia Subduction Zone blows on average every 300 years, so we’re overdue. But what makes the CSZ so dangerous is that it can hit 9.0 or more on the Seismograph, which would absolutely decimate the Oregon coastal communities from shaking, fires and tsunamis, but would also isolate most of Oregon, Northern California and parts of Southern Washington due to collapsed highway and other travel infrastructure on a massive scale that will make rescue and recovery efforts very difficult. Many people will die, especially if Portland is hit hard, because the population of Oregon 330 years ago was minuscule compared to what it is today.
My instincts are literally screaming at me. Maybe it’s because I lived only 6 miles from the epicenter of the Loma Prieta earthquake that hit Northern California in 1989. That was a 7.2, and it did a lot of damage to structures and roadways to the point only helicopters could initially get in to help and feed people — and in Santa Cruz County we were only 40 minutes drive from the Silicon Valley! But when the roads to Santa Cruz County were all blocked due to slides and damage, we might as well have been living on Saturn. The cutoff was that complete! Imagine that kind of complete cutoff, but one which affects the entire State of Oregon and not just one relatively small region in California.”
7.2 Magnitude Loma Prieta Earthquake, Northern California, October 17, 1989, 5:04 PM Pacific —Only 15 Seconds Caused Catastrophe
[ Earthfiles Editor’s Note: The history of earthquake investigations in California has been largely focused on the San Andreas Fault System, due to its strong influence in the state as the boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate. The San Andreas Fault is the most studied on Earth because of the large populations that live near it. Andrew Lawson, a geologist from the University of California, Berkeley, had named the fault after the San Andreas Lake prior to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. That’s when the San Andreas Fault ruptured for a length of 290 mi (470 km) during the 1906 shock, both to the north of San Francisco and to the south in the Santa Cruz Mountains region.
Then the 1989 Loma Prieta catastrophic earthquake originated on an undiscovered oblique-slip reverse fault that is located adjacent to the San Andreas Fault.]
“Most people don’t have a clue what a 9.0 earthquake can do. The power of an earthquake from 7.0 to 8.0 is ten times that of 7.0, and from 8.0 to 9.0 is another ten times the power of an 8.0. The earthquake I personally experienced was a 7.2 and lasted only about 15 seconds followed by months of very strong aftershocks. The CSZ could rumble for several minutes at 9.0, and I am very worried in view of what the birds are telling me.
[ Earthfiles Editor’s Note: In the 1990s, the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) swtiched its definition of seismic magnitude from the Richter scale to a “moment magnitude scale.” The USGS earthquake website states: “as an estimate of energy, each whole number step in the magnitude scale corresponds to the release of about 31 times more energy than the amount associated with the preceding whole number value.
For each whole-number increase in magnitude, the seismic energy released increases by about 31 times. That means a magnitude 7 earthquake produces 31 times more energy — or is 31 times stronger — than a magnitude 6.
A magnitude 8 releases 1,000 times more energy than a magnitude 6, but it releases that energy over a larger area and for a longer time. ]
So today I am parking my vehicles away from my house and out of my garage. I am keeping the fuel tanks full with extra gasoline stored safely. And I am making sure my water filters, survival food, firearms and ammunition are stored away from my house -— which is very well built and strong because I designed and built it myself.
But my house at 9.0 magnitude quake? Forget it! A 9.0 lasting a minute or more will collapse just about every structure currently standing in Southern Oregon.
So I am preparing for the worst and hoping I’m just wrong. But something’s just not right in Southern Oregon, and I’m not taking any chances.”
Earthfiles.com would like to hear from other southwestern Oregon residents to learn what changes in the environment you are seeing and talking about with your neighbors. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org with updates and photographs if available.