The Vancouver Sun gave a grim warning of a “Worst-Case” Scenario regarding a massive earthquake resulting in the death of thousands in Vancouver. Most people hear it before they feel it — a low, rumbling sound similar to a freight train. Closest to the epicentre, violent shaking, which lasts 10 to 20 seconds, knocks people off their feet. Tall buildings sway. Some buildings collapse, and many shift and crack.
The ground ruptures in some areas. There are fires from broken gas lines and flooding from the recent rains increases as some dikes failing. Windows break and glass falls. Many people who run outside suffer injury or death from falling and flying objects. Thousands are trapped. Medical facilities are overwhelmed. This is the grim picture painted of a hypothetical, worst-case scenario earthquake that hits Vancouver.
The scenario — a shallow earthquake of magnitude 7.3 temblor directly beneath the city — was chosen to provide the basis for drafting an emergency earthquake plan by the province.
Such an earthquake, the plan noted, would be “exceedingly rare.” In the scenario, 18 per cent of Metro Vancouver buildings are estimated to receive extensive damage, while 12 per cent are most likely to receive catastrophic damage. The death toll is estimated at nearly 10,000 in Metro Vancouver with more than 128,000 injuries.
In a separate worst-case scenario for an earthquake beneath Victoria, deaths were estimated at nearly 1,500 and injuries at more than 19,000. The human casualty figures are among the first such estimates for Metro Vancouver, as governments grapple with how to prepare for a severe earthquake that scientists predict for B.C. FULL REPORT