The coastal area in the Pacific Northwest may face a clear and present danger: an earthquake hazard on the par with that facing areas that dot the San Andreas Fault. The hazard is represented in a new set of maps describing the level of seismic hazard throughout Oregon, which were released last month by the Geomatrix Consultants, a San Francisco-based engineering firm. The conclusion is no great surprise. Scientists have thought for some time that the potential damage from a large earthquake occurring in the Northwest could easily match that of a same-sized quake occurring in California. However, the threat has not been taken as seriously by the state of Oregon as it has by California. The $300,000 study, known as the Seismic Hazard Mapping Project, may convince Oregon otherwise. At least urban planners will have some better defined numbers to use for bridge and building construction.