Look on bright side

Some facts suggest that this choice is available regarding the “Big One” which will arrive here one day.

Optimism is always better than pessimism.

Some facts suggest that this choice is available regarding the “Big One” which will arrive here one day.

Huge earthquakes like the 1960 magnitude 9.5 one in Chile, or the 9.2  1964 quake in Alaska, tend to cause the greatest destruction, but size is not the only factor. For example, the California 7.1 Candlestick Park quake in 1989 killed or injured about 400 people and damaged or destroyed the same number of homes.

Here in B.C., quakes over magnitude seven occur roughly every 12 years, including the 7.7 one at Haida Gwaii last November, and the biggest one of 8.1 on the Charlotte fault in 1949.

The damage caused by all these quakes has been negligible, and there is a reason for this.

Western California is composed of young, relatively unconsolidated rocks, which tend to fail under stress.

British Columbia, in contrast, is underlain by hard igneous and metamorphic rocks, with a lesser amount of indurated sedimentary ones. These rocks are all more resistant to stress.

Seismic waves can be roughly compared to ocean swells, which may move a boat up and down without damage.

If the swells turn to waves, and the rocks break up, the situation becomes much more serious.

All things are relative, and a really huge earthquake could be destructive here. Let’s be optimistic and hope that it will only result in bigger swells.

James M. Drummond

Qualicum Beach

Just Posted

Giant gnome finds new home at Galey Farms in Saanich

‘Howard’, the iconic Nanoose Bay attraction, will be moved as soon as possible

Man ticketed by Oceanside RCMP after trailer flips on Highway 19

Incident caused delays to southbound traffic

Inspirational Parksville youngster Kaiden Finley dies after cancer battle

‘He was seriously the strongest 11-year-old’

Development cost charges considered to fund regional parks

DCCs to assist in funding land acquisitions and development

Parksville powerlifter qualifies for world championships

Buhler sets personal bests in both raw and equipped lifting events

VIDEO: 13-year-old killed in B.C. crash that involved five kids

The children range in age from six to 17.

UPDATE: Nanaimo ferry sailing cancelled due to docking mishap in Gibsons

Tuesday’s 8:45 p.m. sailing from Departure Bay cancelled as vessel re-deployed

MPs denounce leaked reports of Trudeau-JWR clash over Supreme Court pick

Opposition MPs called the leaks an act of desperation meant to smear Wilson-Raybould

Study says B.C.’s housing policies mean drug users can be targeted for eviction

The study involves 50 people living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

VIDEO: Homicide team called in after three killed in Surrey car crash

Investigators ask public to come forward with information, dashcam video

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

UPDATED: Sailings resume after BC Ferries boat hits Langdale terminal

The Queen of Surrey is stuck on the dock, causing delays to Horseshoe Bay trips

Coroner’s inquest announced for Victoria teen’s overdose death

Elliot Eurchuk was 16 years old when he died of an opioid overdose at his Oak Bay home

Vancouver Island home to B.C.’s luckiest lotto store

Five million-dollar winners have bought tickets from same Port Alberni corner store

Most Read