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

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

UPDATE: Search for missing Cranbrook woman enters third day

The search for a Cranbrook woman missing in the Jumbo Pass area is entering its third day.

Search for missing Cranbrook woman ongoing

Louise Baxter missing in Jumbo Pass area since Sunday

Sunday update: dozens of new fires discovered yesterday in West, East Kootenay

Weather front moving through area sparks fires including in Syringa Provincial Park and Valhalla.

Child, 4, attacked by cougar near Fernie

The BC Conservation Officer Service said it happened while the family was fishing

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

Altidore nets 3 as Toronto drubs Whitecaps 5-2

Vancouver falls 7-4 on aggregate in Canadian Championship final

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Mounties deployed to help B.C. communities affected by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to places particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Chinese medicine practitioner in B.C. facing historical sex assault charges

71-year old Kit Wong practiced acupuncture from his home during the time of the assaults

Quebec sets aside $900 million for companies hurt by U.S. tariffs

Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will make $863 million available over five years

Ex-B.C. teachers’ union leader among latest pipeline protesters to get jail time

Twelve people have been sentenced for violating court order to stay away from Kinder Morgan terminal

Most Read