The author basically cribbed the standard DOGAMI tsunami brochure and added a bunch of hyperbole. It's simply not true to say that there isn't any warning system. There is. Evacuation routes are clearly marked. School kids have drills. Building codes and zoning laws have been updated for decades. (You should see some of the seismic crap I had to add to my foundation, and I'm well outside the earthquake zone.) Of course, most buildings were put up before
those codes were beefed up. Old buildings get retrofitted if they get remodeled, but it would probably take a century or two to retrofit everything at that rate. (The Port of Portland is going to be a real mess when all the petroleum tanks collapse.) The state has already spent billions to upgrade freeway over-passes and bridges.
Also not clear from the article is that the tsunami inundation zone is very small compared to the earthquake risk zone. The Oregon coast is nothing like the east coast, where they've built hurricane-bait neighborhoods right out onto the beaches - there is nothing built on the beach here. The coast range mountains rise right up from the beach (where there is a beach) so most towns are up on the cliffs. The areas at risk are the bay-fronts, which includes several historic town centers. No tsunami is going to go anywhere near I-5. It's a hundred miles away.
The reason that this stuff is hitting the news now is that OSU (the employer of the guy behind the article) is planning to put up a new classroom building at the Marine Science Center in Newport. Right on the bay. This building pushes up against the limits of the tsunami building codes (it wouldn't be allowed in Japan) because it could contain up to 500 people at a time. And there isn't really any good evacuation route out of there. Goldfinger wants them to build an all-new campus, instead, away from the bay. As if there were any money for that. But... even if there were funds, you couldn't really put the docks anywhere else.
It's actually kind of a nightmare spot tsunami-wise. The marine science center is at the bottom of this photo. All those boats in the marina at the top will become projectiles. Not to mention the ships at the docks (or the commercial fishing fleet and freighter docks across the bay, in the opposite direction of the photo.)
There is some talk of trying to make the new building a tsunami-proof tower, but nobody is really sure how to do that, and there probably isn't money for that either.