Thursday, March 27, 2014 

BC News

Under Threat

Everything you wanted to know about an earthquake in BC but were too shaken to ask  

Staff/IBC release/Website image



The photo simulation (above) depicts damage to a bridge just east of Quebec City that, according to the study, could be expected as a result of a 7.1-magnitude quake in the region.


oing small things now to prepare for a natural disaster such as the M9.2 earthquake that hit Alaska this day in 1964, could save your life later. The Alaskan quake generated a tsunami that swept over Port Alberni on Vancouver Island.


The small things may mean putting plastic milk jugs filled with water in empty freezer space, and having a first aid kit.


Earthquake Canada says a 4.2 quake struck yesterday off the southern end of Haida Gwaii. There were no reports of damages or injuries.


The Insurance Bureau of Canada issued a release today on the anniversary of the Alaskan quake, and to raise awareness in anticipation of the Big One in BC.


As follows:



Thursday, March 27, 2014


50th anniversary of Great Alaskan Earthquake

A reminder of the current earthquake threat for Canada

ifty years ago this week, the Great Alaskan Earthquake impacted Canada's west coast triggering a tsunami, causing ground fissures and collapsing structures on Vancouver Island.  The tsunami travelled up a fjord to hit Port Alberni. Lasting just three minutes, the earthquake was the most powerful recorded in recent North American history and the second most powerful ever measured by a seismograph.

The anniversary of this powerful earthquake reminds us that British Columbia is in a very significant seismic area and that another earthquake will hit. That is why Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is researching this important issue and educating Canadians about the need to prepare.

Last October, IBC released the results of a study it commissioned on the impact of two possible major seismic events, one in British Columbia and the other in eastern Canada. The British Columbia scenario anticipated economic losses of $75 billion, including insured losses of $20 billion.

"In the last few years, earthquakes have hit many parts of the world Chile, Haiti, New Zealand and Japan with devastating consequences. So far, Canada has been fortunate but we are not immune," said Bill Adams, IBC's Vice-President, Western and Pacific. "The question is not if, but when, the next major quake will happen. If a mega-earthquake strikes a densely populated area, the insurance industry would play a key role in the recovery. That's why our industry has made preparing Canada for an earthquake one of its strategic priorities."

In light of this week's Auditor General of BC's report about earthquake preparedness, IBC is more committed than ever to working with governments and other stakeholders on this very important issue.

"According to Natural Resources Canada, Canada has a 30% chance in the next 50 years of being hit with an earthquake. Our industry agrees that it is time for regional and national conversations on how to prepare for a mega-earthquake. This is why we are pleased with the BC Government's announcement of a consultation on all aspect of earthquake preparedness" said Adams.

To learn more about the IBC-commissioned earthquake impact study, visit 



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