OUR VIEW: Nothing wrong with ‘quake preparedness

It wasn't that long ago that Grand Forks felt an earthquake and with what transpired on the coast, it doesn't hurt to be prepared.

Stories of Hurricane Sandy led many news programs over the past couple of days and likewise for stories of the earthquake that struck Haida Gwaii and other coastal regions of British Columbia.

The quake that hit Saturday night measured 7.7, prompting tsunami warnings and scaring many that were affected.

The B.C. government has been criticized for the slow response time, with some reports suggesting that provincial emergency officials took too long to release a tsunami advisory – some reports suggest it took close to 40 minutes.

Unacceptable to say the least.

B.C.’s Attorney General Shirley Bond expressed relief that there were no reported injuries and said the incident gives the province a chance to improve.

Of course, there were no reports of people in the Kootenay-Boundary area and Grand Forks feeling any tremors but that doesn’t mean that local officials shouldn’t have a plan in place.

While an earthquake on the coastal region of B.C. is expected, there have been some occurrences in places not necessarily associated with a quake.

England had an earthquake in 2008, a 5.8 magnitude quake hit the state of Virginia in Aug. of 2011 and was felt in Toronto, Ont., and earlier this month, there was even an earthquake in Montreal, Que.

Before people begin to say, “An earthquake would never happen here,” remember that on Nov. 18, an earthquake that was centered in the state of Washington was felt in Rock Creek, Osoyoos, Kelowna, Penticton and here in Grand Forks.

Granted, it was only a magnitude 4.3 quake and there wasn’t any damage done to the city but it serves as a reminder that people might not be as immune as they think they are.

Ironically, an earthquake preparedness event took place in parts of the province this past Oct. 18, The Great British Columbia ShakeOut.

There was little to no fanfare leading up to the event locally but maybe more attention should be paid. An earthquake seismologist told the Gazette last year that Canada is a seismically active country and as witnessed many times, earthquakes can happen at any time, so it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

– Grand Forks Gazette

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