Recent earthquake serves as warning

Some tips on what to do if a earthquake happens in Sooke

Did you feel that last earthquake on Wednesday night last week?

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (emsc-csem.org) reported a 6.5 earthquake on northern Vancouver Island last week. Its epicentre was 85 km south-southwest of Port Alice.

Witness accounts on the EMSC detail the shakedown. “Was having a second glass of wine — thought, at first, that I better not have any more,” recorded one witness about 30 km away from the epicentre, “then realized that it was an earthquack [sic] — (better stop the wine) — lasted about ten to fifteen seconds.”

According to EarthquakesCanada.nrcan.gc.ca’s Community Interest Intensity Map, the earthquake was felt, albeit weakly, as far away as Kamloops and Kelowna.

This recent shakeup might have you thinking about your own emergency preparedness. Some of you might be smug in your existing, excellent preparedness; some might be updating your kits; and others might be wondering where to start.

Fire Chief Steve Sorensen provided a few excellent words of wisdom the day after the earthquake.

His first piece of advise was on how to assess the possibility of a tsunami.

“If the ground in Sooke shakes hard enough that you can’t stand up, this is your warning that a tsunami may be coming. Persons should evacuate all low lying areas immediately following the shaking and move to higher ground,” advised Sorensen. He added that the recommended safe-from-tsunami height in Sooke area is four metres above normal sea level.

You can find out the sea level of any particular address using Google Earth (as opposed to Google Maps), a free downloadable application.

“If a major earthquake occurs in the Cascadia Fault (the big one), the wave would be expected to hit Sooke in approximately 55 minutes,” advised Sorensen.

Jeri Grant, the Juan de Fuca (JdF) emergency coordinator, offered up an Earthquake 101. The recent earthquake happened on the Nookta fault zone. This resulted in a side-to-side shifting, which does not cause the land to thrust up. The Nootka fault experiences an earthquake about once in 10 years. The Cascadia fault, which runs from Alaska down to northern California, will result in a “subduction, or mega thrust” quake. If that were to happen, Grant informed us, there would be a substantial quake lasting two to three minutes.

In North America, the response to a quake like this is to “drop, cover and hold, and protect your head and neck,” said Grant. Stay away from windows and doorways.

A quake in the Cascadia Fault can result in a tsunami, confirmed Grant.

As soon as factual information is received by the District, said Sorensen, the Sooke Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) will inform residents what to do next, using Internet and Social Networking tools like Twitter. “In the event of a major disaster, the Sooke Community Hall will be opened as an Emergency Reception Centre.”

Sorensen recommends having seven days of emergency supplies on hand. Grant echoed that, saying that number was a minimum recommendation. Ideally, everyone would have a grab-and-go kit, an emergency supply, and a car kit was well.

“A new program entitled 26 Weeks to Emergency Preparedness is also set to be launched at the beginning of May,” said Sorensen. “This will detail how to put together a seven-day emergency kit in 26 steps.”

The May 3 Sooke Rotary Auction will have Sooke Emergency Program volunteers on hand, where additional information and handouts can be obtained. There will also be a display at the very large Annual Emergency Preparedness Week display at the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre in Colwood on May 4. This event runs from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

In the meanwhile, Sorensen recommends a website called www.prepareyourself.ca, which can help you get prepared for an emergency.

Just Posted

It’s lunchtime

A hungry sea lion grabs a quick salmon lunch on the Sooke… Continue reading

UVic threatens any athletes who speak about rowing coach investigation

Barney Williams has been accused of harassment and abuse

Maritime Museum makes bid to move back into Bastion Square

The museum pitched significant renovations to make its long-time home more accommodating

Sooke mom launches GoFundMe campaign to get medical treatment for son

Single mother has two children facing medical challenges

PHOTOS: NHL honours B.C. grandma’s battle against cancer in special match

Shea Theodore’s grandmother Kay Darlington dropped the puck at a special ‘Hockey Fights Cancer’ game

12 Sooke events to get you into the holiday spirit

From a Santa parade to classicial music, Sooke has it all

University of Victoria threatens any athletes who speak about rowing coach probe

Barney Williams has been accused of harassment and abuse

B.C.’s largest catholic archdiocese names 9 clergymen in sex abuse report; probes ongoing

Vancouver Archdioces presides over 443,000 parishoners in B.C.

Wolverines eye big prize as basketball season nears

‘We know what we’re capable of doing this year’

Eagles congregate around Salish Sea for one last feast before period of famine

Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society preparing to receive birds in need of care

Smudging in B.C. classroom did not affect Christian family’s faith, says school district lawyer

Lawyers make closing arguments in a Port Alberni case about the Indigenous cultural practice

Canadian Forces member charged with possessing magic mushrooms in Comox

Master Cpl. Joshua Alexander, with the 407 Maritime Patrol Squadron, facing two drug related charges

Most B.C. residents, including those hit by 2018 storms, not prepared for outages: report

Create an emergency kit, BC Hydro says, and report all outages or downed lines

Most Read