Nepalese Buddhists light incense sticks at the Boudhanath Stupa during Buddha Jayanti

B.C. bracing for earthquake effects

Latest earthquake off Haida Gwaii April 24 tested B.C.'s new tsunami notification program, with improved results

Images of brick buildings crumbling in the recent Nepal earthquake have added extra urgency to efforts to prepare for the next big one along the B.C. coast.

The latest reminder of the hazard to B.C. came April 24, when a tremor centred in the ocean off Haida Gwaii registered 6.1 on the Richter scale. While too far from land and settlements to cause significant damage, it provided the first live test for the province’s new notification system for earthquake and tsunami zones.

“What took as much as 25 minutes in the past was down to 10 minutes,” said Pat Quealey, assistant deputy minister responsible for Emergency Management B.C. “And that’s significant when you consider that that now allows emergency program coordinators in at-risk communities to be able to initiate action and warn folks of the impending danger.”

Quealey, a former Canadian Forces officer responsible for disaster response in B.C., said the Nepal earthquake also demonstrates the need for individual and family preparedness to get through the first three days on their own after a major event.

In that crucial period, emergency services struggle with access to affected areas for lifesaving, and evaluation of damage to roads, airports and other infrastructure.

To help with earthquake kits and evacuation plans, the latest edition of the province’s Earthquake and Tsunami Smart Manual is available at the Emergency Management B.C. website, www.embc.gov.bc.ca, where people can also register to receive tsunami notifications by email.

During National Emergency Preparedness Week, the B.C. government’s “Quake Cottage,” a mobile simulator of a major event, is touring the Lower Mainland. Stops include:

• May 6, Coquitlam Centre, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• May 7, White Rock fire hall, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

• May 8, Minoru Park, Richmond, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

May 9, Lynn Valley Village, North Vancouver, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

For a video demonstration of the Quake Cottage, click here.

 

Just Posted

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Central Saanich strawberry farmer reports bumper crop

Strawberry season could last well into October

GoodLife marathon helps enrich lives, share stories

Seniors’ care one of many causes supported by GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon

Oak Bay community invited to News’ 5th annual readers tea

Oak Bay News, Carlton House host Sept. 17 afternoon tea

Colwood square dancing open house to welcome in new dancers

“It’s therapy,” said long-time square dancer Linda Townsend

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Tragic bus crash, Pacific FC win and Terry Fox runs

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Scheer makes quick campaign stop in Comox

Conservative leader highlights tax promises early in campaign

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Most Read