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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North District RCMP are urging the public’s assistance in locating Prince George resident Amber Weutz, 25, last seen Oct. 18 in the Canim Mahood Lake area east of 100 Mile House. (Photo submitted)
RCMP release more information on missing Prince George woman

Amber Weutz, 25, was last seen in the Canim and Mahood Lake area on Oct. 18

Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune
SLIDESHOW: Nesika celebrates Halloween with costume parade, dance

Classes took turns within their own cohorts taking part in each event

The Williams Lake Skating Club is thrilled to introduce new coach Brenda Boulin (right) to its team. Boulin joins head coach Joanne Macnair (centre) and coach Breanna Davidson. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake Skating Club welcomes new coach to team

WLSC longtime head coach Joanne Macnair is thrilled to welcome Brenda Boulin back home

While the weather in Williams Lake wreaked havoc on roads and flooded homes this week, the swans didn’t seem to mind it at all. (David Fait photo)
Waterlogged: Williams Lake downright soggy after days of rain

October has seen an unusual amount of rain fall in the Cariboo this year

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Most Read