Canada has experienced many earthquakes of significant magnitude. Experts believe that British Columbia is not only susceptible to a major earthquake, but that one is long overdue. While the magnitude of such an earthquake cannot be predicted, recent events in California and the Pacific Northwest have heightened awareness of the need for emergency planning, preparedness and risk management before a major earthquake occurs.
In Canada, the coast of British Columbia is the region most at risk from a major earthquake. Approximately 5,000 typically small earthquakes are recorded in Canada each year. In the past 100 years, at least nine earthquakes in or near Canada have registered a magnitude greater than 7. Even a magnitude 6 earthquake could do extensive damage in a built-up area. In fact, a strong quake near one of Canada’s major urban areas would likely be the most destructive natural disaster this country could experience.
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