Drop, cover and hold on: Thousands of British Columbians to take part in earthquake drill

This year’s drill comes as scientists announce discovery of ‘stormquakes,’ an earthquake and hurricane

Shortly after 10:15 a.m. Thursday, more than 930,000 British Columbians will “drop, cover and hold on” as part of a province-wide practice test for when a real earthquake strikes.

The annual Great British Columbian ShakeOut drill is part of a worldwide disaster preparedness test.

There are roughly 3,000 tremors and quakes across the province each year. According to earthquake analysts, the Cascadia subduction zone – a fault running from northern Vancouver Island to California – is the area of greatest risk in B.C. for tremors. Scientists have been keeping a close eye on the Juan de Fuca plate, which is skidding below the North American plate and has the potential to slip and cause a powerful quake.

The last major earthquake, which registered as 7.8, was in 2012 in Haida Gwaii. Since then, many researchers have shared their theories on when “the big one” will hit.

“Earthquakes don’t make appointments. We have to be ready when they arrive,” Naomi Yamamoto, president of the BC Earthquake Alliance said in a statement to Black Press Media.

“Practising ‘Drop, Cover and Hold On’ builds muscle memory and is a great way to be prepared to survive and recover quickly.”

In the case of an earthquake, you should:

  1. Drop where you are onto your hands and knees.
  2. Cover your head and neck with one arm and hand. If possible, crawl underneath a nearby desk or chair for shelter.
  3. Hold on until the shaking stops. Wait for the shaking to stop and count to 60 before emerging from your safe area to allow objects that may have shifted during the shaking to settle.

This year’s drill comes just a few days after scientists in the U.S. announced their discovery of “stormquakes,” the combination of two disasters: hurricanes and earthquakes.

The shaking of the sea floor during hurricanes and nor’easters can rumble like a magnitude 3.5 earthquake and can last for days, according to a study in this week’s journal Geophysical Research Letters.

While they are fairly common, stormquakes weren’t considered much more than seismic background noise by researchers until now.

Wenyuan Fan, a Florida State University seismologist who was the study’s lead author, told the Associated Press that her team discovered 14,077 stormquakes between September 2006 and February 2015 in B.C., as well as the Gulf of Mexico and off Florida, New England, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador.

In an emailed statement, Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth encouraged all British Columbians to participate in the drill, which starts at 10:17 a.m. PST.

“If you live in an active earthquake zone, knowing what to do when the shaking starts could save your life.”

– with files from the Associated Press


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Penticton and Salmon Arm will duke it out tonight for division lead

Penticton Vees and Salmon Arm Silverbacks meet in Penticton tonight for Interior Division lead

Penticton Museum hosting Brown Bag Lecture

Wildlife and Recreation is the topic of the next Penticton Museum Brown Bag Lecture Series

New Penticton marijuana dispensary opening

The Greenery Cannabis Boutique was scheduled to open Friday on Main Street

Minister hosted accessibility forum on Wednesday night in Penticton

Residents had their say at forum hosted by social development and poverty reduction minister

New family doctor in Keremeos

Dr. David Van de Vosse says practicing rural medicine is multifacted

VIDEO: Disney Plus adds disclaimer about racist stereotypes

Disney’s disclaimer is a good way to begin discussion about the larger issue of racism

Advertising restrictions frustrate Salmon Arm cannabis retailers

Retail prices off-putting to some, but businesses finding supportive clientele

Kelowna mayor apologizes for initial reaction to sexual assault statistics

The mayor issued the statement after he came under heavy fire from a sexual assault survivor

First Nations ‘optimistic’ about road upgrades after Horgan visits site of fatal bus crash

Premier travelled Bamfield Main road, where bus flipped last September and two students were killed

Morning Start: The man who invented the Pringles can was buried in one

Your morning start for Friday, November 15, 2019

No new rules needed to ensure timely youth justice, Supreme Court says

Charter of Rights and Freedoms says someone charged with an offence has the right to be tried within a reasonable time

Okanagan man facing 18 charges after hidden camera found in winery washroom

The camera was found in a washroom at Summerhill Winery on Aug. 23

Seguin lifts surging Stars to 4-2 win over Canucks

Dallas is 6-0-1 in last seven outings

Most Read