A few minutes ago I heard what sounded like a loud explosion, at the same time items on the dresser top swayed as my windows rattled and blinds smacked the glass. It only lasted a few seconds, yet felt like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I ran out of the room, husband runs up the stairs, phone starts bellowing texts – “what the hell” “was that an earthquake?”

Not like any earthquake I’ve ever felt – my first thoughts were an explosion at the gas station 10 blocks away, or a massive propane tank explosion. Earthquakes are supposed to roll, not buckle your knees with audible concussion while tossing possessions about. The last Vancouver earthquake on my radar came 14 years ago – middle son stayed home from school with a cold, we were watching TV on my bed when I said “stop jiggling the bed” . Son replies “we’re having an earthquake, look at the door Mom”. Sure enough, bedroom door is swaying back and forth.

Within 15 minutes, the USGS confirmed an earthquake 18 Km NNE of Victoria B.C. – initial magnitude reported at 4.8. Downgraded since to a 4.3, does nothing to quell the jolt in my home at 11:39 pm. Pacific rim – you have my full attention.

The “big one”, predicted and long overdue in the pacific northwest would be 15,000 times more powerful than this evening’s shake-up. Anyone who felt it and doesn’t have an emergency plan or emergency kit – needs their head examined.



Valentines Day Shaker

If you live along the west coast of British Columbia you might have felt the earth move at 8:12 PM.

A magnitude 3.6 quake, 26 kilometers northwest of Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast was felt by scores of local residents. Described by some as “a big truck driving by” and “definitely stronger than the last one” No reports of damage, or Tsunami warning issued.

For decades seismologists have warned of a long overdue “big one” along our coast. Gentle reminders shouldn’t be ignored – the link below gives a practical check-list to consider. Read it over – you don’t have to rush out and do it all at once. Make a list, prioritize and purchase a few items every week.


Magnitude 6.2

At 1:19 PST, a magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck off the coast of British Columbia. Today’s shaker was 200 Km. west – south – west of Bella Bella on B.C.’s coast, not far from the magnitude 7.2 of last October – that earthquake being the second largest recorded in Canadian history. Canada’s largest recorded quake hails from the same region; the 1949 Queen Charlotte earthquake measured 8.1 on the Richter scale. Science tells us far larger earthquakes took place before ¬†seismographic instruments were developed. The Cascadia quake of 1700, estimated at a magnitude 9 or higher.

Unlike the quake last October no tsunami warnings were issued. Several after shocks registering as much as 5.5 have followed without raising an eyebrow. My guess being; the majority of B.C. residents haven’t even heard there was an earthquake.

Few residents of south western B.C. are unaware of predictions for a long overdue “big one”, the only ones who seem prepared in any way are school children. At the start of each school year kids have to put together an “earthquake pack”. Their pack contains emergency numbers, a letter of comfort from parents, water, any medication needed, and non perishable food. Schools store these packs in a metal shed on the edge of their property – far removed from school buildings. Earthquake drills are as frequent as fire drills – stop, drop, and cover becoming second nature.

About ten years ago my son was home sick from school. We were laying on my bed in the middle of the afternoon when I turned to him and said “stop shaking the bed”.He turned to me, without missing a beat, calm as the day was long and said “Mom, look at the door, we’re having an earthquake” Sure enough, my bedroom door was swaying back and forth. Another time I was making dinner when the kitchen window rattled – hours later the news reported an earthquake; not in a million years had it crossed my mind that anything other than a large truck had rattled that glass.

Despite predictions, earthquakes are the last thing on most people’s minds. I doubt the latest 6.2 will change a thing. For myself it stands as a reminder not to be so vacant when the bed shakes or window rattles. Time to take a look at my emergency supplies and offer a link to the post I put up after the last earthquake.