Credit Natural Resources Canada
Overnight a 6.3 magnitude quake rocked the waters off British Columbia, the third 6+ magnitude quake to strike off Canada’s west coast in the last 10 days.
The first two, a 7.8 followed by a 6.3 aftershock, struck hundreds of kilometers further north on October 28th and for a time prompted a Tsunami advisory for Hawaii.
Given the size and location of last night’s quake, little or no damage is expected, except perhaps to the nerves of those who live along the shores facing the Cascadia fault line.
Recent warnings from the University of Oregon (see Shaken, And Hopefully Stirred) suggest the region is overdue for a major earthquake; one that could conceivably match the power of last year’s Great Northern Japan Quake.
Last March, in Tsunami: The Other Coastal Threat, we looked at the United State’s preparedness for both east and west coast tsunamis. While truly destructive tsunamis on American and Canadian shores are rare, they have happened in the past.
Hawaii and the west coast are considered at greatest risk due to the seismically active `ring of fire’.
Perhaps the most vulnerable region is the Pacific Northwest, where the Cascadia fault line (see Just A Matter Of Time) is believed to have produced tsunamis in the past that rival the tidal waves that struck Japan last year.
No one knows when the next major quake will strike in this region, it could be today, or it could be fifty years from now.
When it does happen, it could seriously impact all of the Pacific Northwest, including British Columbia, Washington State, Oregon, California, and through tsunamis, many distant areas in the pacific basin.
The only defense with earthquakes is a good offence; being prepared. Which is why British Columbia, Washington State, Oregon, and California (along with other states and nations) recently conducted a Shakeout Drill.
To learn how to participate in your area’s next Shakeout drill, go to shakeout.org. But since the `big one’ might not wait until after next year’s exercise, now is the time to prepare.
Natural Resources Canada has a webpage with information on earthquake safety and preparedness.
- From Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada
- Emergency Preparedness Week in Canada
- Emergency Preparedness for Youth (Sécurité public Québec)
- How would your home stand up? A residential construction checklist to help reduce earthquake damage to your home from CMHC
- From the Provincial Emergency Program of British Columbia, Canada's most earthquake-prone province:
- BC's Emergency Preparedness for Industry and Commerce Council (EPICC)
And in the United States you can find earthquake information at Ready.gov’s Earthquake page.
And finally, a few of my preparedness blogs you might wish to revisit:
Because no matter where you live, its just a matter of time before the next disaster strikes.