Photos: Shake, Rattle And Roll On Vancouver Island

Because Vancouver Island is located directly on a fault line and is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a horseshoe-shaped area of high seismic activity including earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, annual earthquake drills in preparing for that inevitable “Big One” was largely a part of attending any school in British Columbia.

Today marks the first annual Great British Columbia ShakeOut, a province-wide initiative to encourage each and every one of us to know what to do in an earthquake and how to best survive the days following. Each year more than 1,000 quakes are registered in Canada with the majority of those shakers taking place in BC. [source]

More than 400,000 people have registered to partake in this simultaneous earthquake drill, modeled after highly successful practices in the State of California. Whether or not you’re participating in the Great British Columbia ShakeOut, one of the best principles to know and stick to is “Drop, Cover and Hold On”:

    1. Drop to the ground.

    2. Take cover by ducking under a sturdy desk, table or within a doorframe.

    3. Hold on until the shaking stops. Most earthquakes last an average of 60 seconds.

For more information on the Great British Columbia ShakeOut and for tips on how you can be better prepared for earthquakes in our region, visit the official website. You can also find them on Facebook or follow their updates on Twitter.

On June 23, 1946, a catastrophic earthquake rattled Vancouver Island. Centered in the Forbidden Plateau area, the 7.3 magnitude quake had far-reaching effects. Miraculously, only two fatalities were recorded: one due to heart failure and another who drowned near Port Alberni from the enormous waves that occurred after the earthquake. I have managed to dig up a few remaining photos that documented the damage.

Bank of Montreal, Port Alberni

BMO earthquake 1946
Photo: Wikipedia file, photographer unknown

Kelsey Bay Highway, north of Campbell River

kelsey bay earthquake 1946
Photo: Wikipedia file, photographer unknown

Comox, house damage

Photo: Wikipedia file, photographer unknown

Courtenay Post Office

1946 earthquake courtenay post office
Photo: Natural Resources Canada

Courtenay Elementary School

courtenay elementary earthquake 1946
Photo: Natural Resources Canada

Courtenay Elementary School, damage to classroom interior

courtenay elementary earthquake 1946
Photo: Natural Resources Canada

Until February 4th you can win a night for two at The Beach Club Resort and two tickets to Parksville Uncorked’s Swirl Gala. Visit the contest page to enter.

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One Comment on “Photos: Shake, Rattle And Roll On Vancouver Island

  1. The destruction can be so devastating. I’m lucky never to have been near a huge earthquake. The one and only time I remember a rumbling (this must have been about 5 or 6 years ago) and I could feel the chairs & tables in my living room shaking and moving. It wasn’t major but enough to shake the spirits of people in the area as it rarely happens in our part of the world.

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