In 1985, just after landing in Fort Nelson, B.C., I was met at the airport and whisked off to the Christmas Party at
a local hotel where my brother was hosting a staff dinner. I was shown to my seat at a long dining table and had taken the first sip of a fine Scotch.
Suddenly the floor rolled and undulated beneath me. The table rose and fell. Dishes rattled. The walls swayed in and out while the chandelier swung side to side above our heads. For thirty seconds, I rocked in terror.
“That’s some incredibly potent Scotch, brother dear,” I said once everyone settled down.
Earthquakes were supposed to happen around my coastal home, not at an inland location just miles south of the Northwest Territory border. Turned out the 6.9 epicenter was a few hundred miles north of us. (Click here if curious) . No humans were hurt but I couldn’t help wonder what it did to the animals.
Then in 2001, a 6.8 quake near Olympia, Washington rattled the china and shock the foundation of my island lodgings, but again, caused no harm to anyone.
The 7.7 quake that shook Haida Qwaii last night, the biggest of all, didn’t disturb my island 500 miles to the South.
Why did the shaking take place inland, hundreds of miles to the East? Why was there no Tsunami? John Cassidy, a seismologist was quoted in the Vancouver Sun:
“The quake happened as two tectonic plates — the Pacific plate and the North American Plate — slid past each other. Cassidy said such horizontal movement typically doesn’t pose the same tsunami risks as vertical movement, which is the sort of quake that triggered the devastating 2010 tsunami in Japan.”
In the same report:
“Brent Ward, an earth scientist at Simon Fraser University, said the big one would happen along a different fault than the one involved in Saturday’s quake, on the edge of the Juan de Fuca Plate west of Vancouver Island.
That plate is moving underneath the North American Plate, said Ward, in a process known as subduction. When it finally gives way, the results would be catastrophic.
“We would get the entire West Coast of Vancouver Island being affected by a large tsunami, similar in size to the one that hit Japan,” he said.”
Two of us, Peter and I, share Pod Leader responsibilities in our neighbourhood of nearly 100 homes. We’re primarily responsible for gathering resident information for the Emergency Response Team. To do this we need a number of other volunteers who can quickly and easily reach a small number of homes and report to us.
The challenge is finding those people to volunteer.
No matter the age, race, culture or location, no one thinks its going to happen to them.
I hope they’re right.
I’ll keep asking for volunteers anyway.
I’m sending prayers for those folks in the East who are dealing with Hurricane Sandy.
May you be as safe and sound as we are, this moment, on the West Coast.