At 3:20 p.m. on Aug. 29 a thunderous rumble and a tremor, which could be felt underfoot, signalled a earthquake in the Sooke region.
While it was not large, according to the Richter Magnitude Scale, it was large enough to be recorded as 3.0.
Shortly after questioning whether others had heard or felt anything, comments on the Sooke News Mirror’s Facebook page said the quake had been felt in Otter Point, Shirley and everywhere in between. Comments such as, “the house shook after a loud explosion; heard the rumble then the house shook; my house actually jumped; felt it so much at Whiffin Spit that my chair moved; and a picture fell of the neighbour’s mantle.” were posted on the site.
The earthquake was centered 10 kms. northwest of Colwood toward Sooke Lake, and was 25 kms. underground.
This was a small quake, but it is also a quake up call.
Emergency preparedness is essential if and when a large, more severe earthquake or natural disaster were to occur. While Sooke does not have a full-scale emergency evacuation plan, there are a few things people can do to help themselves.
Sooke Fire Chief Steve Sorensen said, “the best thing to do to be prepared is to look after your self, home, workplace and car. We will have limited resources. If your house collapses we will open up the community hall.”
Sorensen said there are back-up plans to utilize schools if necessary.
He re-emphasized that the first plan of action should be to ensure your family and neighbours are looked after with essentials such as water, food, blankets, portable radio, shelter. Some communities already have a pod system where neighbours look after neighbours.
Currently there is a group in place, the Local Government Emergency Program Advisory Commission (LG EPAC), a function of the Capital regional District. Sorensen said they are working out how they can help each other out if some natural disaster were to take place.
The LG EPAC meets monthly and consists of a representative of the emergency program from each Capital Regional District municipality and electoral area. A representative of PEP attends all meetings as a guest of the advisory commission to maintain a strong link between the local government programs and the Province.
The LG EPAC is focused on developing initiatives to create strong communication links and increased efficiencies for regional emergency programs. This includes how they can partner together as local governments during planning and response phases of emergencies.