A magnitude 8.0 earthquake was felt by hundreds of people in Sidney Sunday. Fortunately, this time it wasn’t real.
An earthquake simulator is touring Vancouver Island, giving people a taste of what to expect when the big one hits.
“The idea behind this is to create a safe environment so our residents can understand what the 8.0 earthquake might be like if we were to have a Cascadia subbduction earthquake,” said Oak Bay fire chief Dave Cockle, also president of the BC Earthquake AllianceWhen the machine starts
When the cottage-sized machine starts, the shaking quickly intensifies, as objects placed on a counter rattle around, and a video shows scenes of destruction in earthquake-hit cities.
“Most of the people that come off of it are going oh well I guess I can’t go to a window or a doorway or any of those pieces that they were taught when they were kids, and we don’t want you to,” said Cockle. “Wherever you are when the earthquake hits, that’s where we want you to drop cover and hold on, you’re not going to be able to walk, it’s going to knock you to the ground.”
On hand to explain the science, seismologist Honn Kao says the simulator accurately mimics the subduction zone quake the coast could experience at any time.
“Its going to be very strong shaking and it will cause strong damage to buildings and infrastructure,” he said.
And after the shaking stops organizers hope the simulator makes people think about the need to have enough food and water for at least 72 hours, and know how they’ll get in touch with family.
The simulator will tour the Island over the next two weeks. The schedule can be found here.