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

Bulkley Valley SD 54 superintendent leaving

Chris van der Mark has been superintendent with SD54 for eight years, and has hands full in Cariboo.

B.C. chiefs show solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Chiefs from around B.C. outside the Coastal GasLink pipeline route in Smithers show support.

Woman killed in head-on crash near Vanderhoof

RCMP say driver crossed the centre line and hit a loaded fuel tanker truck

RCMP to review actions at Wet’suwet’en pipeline protest camps

Senior Mountie says he hopes protests will be peaceful following deal with hereditary chiefs

Houston property assessments nudge up

District now working on 2019 spending plans

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Kamala Harris opens U.S. presidential bid in challenge to Trump

The 54-year old portrayed herself as a fighter for justice, decency and equality in a video distributed by her campaign

Most Read