VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – As the aftershocks continue from that 7.7 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Haida Gwaii, politicians and experts alike agree — it is a wake up call for all of us.
Doctor Carlos Ventura is with UBC’s Department of Civil Engineering and the director of the university’s Earthquake Engineering Research Facility. He says the quake off Haida Gwaii, as well as last year’s double disaster in Japan, raise some important questions.
“Are we doing the right thing? Is our building code the most appropriate? What do we need to change in engineering practices, engineering construction, emergency response, how to deal with that? All of that is continuously changing because we learn from those other earthquakes,” Ventura explains.
He feels we have come a long way, but there is still much to be done.
“I think [we are] halfway to being fully prepared, there are many areas well prepared but there are other areas where we have work to do for instance, retro-fitting our schools, retro-fitting hospitals.”
Ventura adds there are plenty of structures that would be at risk if a Haida Gwaii like shaker struck here — many older buildings in Yaletown and Gastown would be vulnerable.
Bridges like the new Port Mann and the Golden Ears would be fine, but older spans like the Patullo which lack the proper seismic safeguards would not.