I read with dismay of the layoff of engineer Yumei Wang from the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, a program that for many years has been instrumental in designing tsunami evacuation plans, keeping Oregonians informed of earthquake risks and other important functions that keep us safe and informed of possible natural disasters (“Loss of high-level engineer at state geology agency is ‘a detriment to public safety in Oregon’,” Aug. 3). Without this important work, we will be woefully unprepared for the results of a major earthquake or other natural disaster.
The poor federal response to the coronavirus is a prime example of what happens when important government agencies are gutted, such as the response team put together by previous administrations to deal with the possibility of just such an outbreak. We need to keep this important work going. There is no way to accurately predict when the Big One will strike, but we do know it will. How many lives will be lost by the lack of preparation for such a disaster? Now is not the time to stick our heads in the sand, and I urge Gov. Kate Brown to fund this very important agency so they may continue to work for the safety of us all.
Katie Nelson, Corvallis