Both Oregon and Washington rank high in the United States for disaster probability, according to a new report issued by MoneyWise. Washington, ranked no. 4 disaster prone in the nation, has seen 136 major disasters including fires, floods, mudslides, landslides, earthquakes and the infamous volcano eruption since 1953. In Oregon, ranked the no. 10 disaster prone state in the nation, there have been 79 major disasters since 1953 — including fires, floods, mudslides, snowstorms, droughts, earthquakes and a tsunami.
In Washington, the 2017 fire season was called one of the worst on record and destroyed hundreds of thousands of acres. When Mount St. Helens blew its top in 1980, 230 square miles of forest were scorched, 200 homes were destroyed, 900,000 tons of volcanic ash buried roads, an estimated 7,000 large game animals were killed, and 57 people died.
In Oregon, a 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan sent shockwaves across the Pacific to the Oregon coast, where high waves damaged docks and left boats stacked on top of one another. Several boats sank or were washed out to sea. The Oregonian reported that two men were hurt when they were swept off a beach, and one man may have died. The tsunami cost the federal government $5.6 million in disaster assistance grants.
The first three most disaster prone states are Oklahoma, California and Texas.