B.C. is ‘earthquake country’: Are we prepared?
A B.C. expert says the Turkey-Syria earthquake should remind us of B.C.’s own quake risk and the need to be ready.
John Clague, professor emeritus at Simon Fraser University, said that while B.C.’s geology is different than Turkey’s, “we live in earthquake country.”
B.C. is at risk from what is often called “the big one” — a megathrust temblor that could occur offshore where the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate is being forced under the North American plate — as well as from fault lines that run through the Pacific Northwest.
The Turkey-Syria quake was of magnitude 7.8, caused by two plates sliding past each other in a horizontal motion, said Clague. While that could happen in B.C., the resulting quake along local fault lines is likely to be smaller, possibly in the magnitude 6 range, limiting the “damage footprint” to the area closest to the epicentre.
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