The Oregonian flew photographer Jamie Francis down to Brookings, a small town just north of the California border, to check out the tsunami damage there. Maximizing his travel time, he took photos from the air and put them together into a short video. I just got a rather large dose of homesickness watching this, since nearly every shot of a town or bridge is immediately recognizable. The lovely village I once lived in is featured at 1:28. (I can even see my old house.)
Mr. Francis points out that most of what he’s seeing is profoundly vulnerable to the same type of large-scale earthquake and tsunami that just befell Japan. This is a fact that every Oregon coastal resident is highly aware of; a major subduction zone runs along the entire coast, and has a regular history of catastrophic jolts. But the truth is that most of my home state was molded by either water or fire. Oregon is a place of geological violence — which is precisely why it’s so beautiful.