Vancouver is a possible massive earthquake target, but only few care about it!

Xinhua on line news site has written an article which we would like to reprint partly. We encourage our readers (and especially our Canadian readers) to read it in full.
We originally posted this article in October 2010, but as it is still actual and as we have a tenfold of visitors today, we are happy to republish it. agrees for 200% on the content of this article.


Image by ecstaticist via Flickr

With its location in the Cascadia subduction zone, a seismically-active area, the question is not if an earthquake will hit the Canadian city, but when.

For generations Vancouverites have heard that a major earthquake is due to hit the city "once every 500 years", but it has never happened. As a result, locals have grown pessimistic and even indifferent to the possibility of it ever happening. The last major quake was thought to have hit the city about 300 years ago, long before western settlers arrived.

Yet, with its location on the Pacific west coast, along a stretch that includes Anchorage, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles, cities that have all been hit and damaged by earthquakes, new research points out Vancouver's time could be closer than originally thought.

According to research released by the University of Oregon earlier this year, there is a one-in-three chance that a major earthquake could strike the Pacific Northwest, an area home to Seattle, Portland, Vancouver and Victoria, within the next 50 years.

The researchers believe Cascadia is not one large subduction zone stretching from northern California to British Columbia, as previously thought, but at least four separate segments. They suggest that instead of the entire fault rupturing at once, it will break into smaller parts with more frequent earthquakes.

"We need to be ready for it," states Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who has made environmental issues for the city his top priority since taking office two years ago."There's a huge role for citizens to be prepared. I don't think Vancouverites are anywhere near as ready as they should be in their homes. We see significantly more energy and preparedness and awareness around California, for example. We're looking at some of their educations efforts to implement here."

Courtesy  We encourage our readers to read the article in full


  1. There is also a National Geographic special on this Mega Quake:

  2. Great article! Thanks for re-posting this. I never saw this article before.
    Funny, just this morning we had a M4.0 quake offshore.