Emergency exercise looks at what to do in the event of a 9.0 magnitude earthquake.
The Province’s $1.2m earthquake and tsunami exercise continued in Port Alberni Thursday, where numerous emergency agencies gathered to practice what they would do in the event of a major earthquake.
No one knows how bad the damage will be when a possible 9.0 magnitude earthquake hits the coast of BC, so many scenarios are being played out, including the aftermath of a tsunami on the city’s waterfront.
“One of the things we did at Western Forest Products was we did a mock bus and we had logs in it, we had cars in it, we had boats, we had people down the embankment we had people trapped in the bus,” said Kirk Heaven of the Vancouver Heavy Urban Search and Rescue Team who also organized some of the scenarios.
It all hits close to home for current Port Alberni mayor Mike Ruttan who was 12 years old when a tsunami hit the city in 1964.
“You know the greatest memory for me is the mud, the smell, how sticky it was and the logs everywhere,” Ruttan told CHEK News.
“We do know from examples that have happened in in real situations in Japan in New Zealand, even the fires in Fort McMurry, there are certain protocols in place that if you follow them you will get the best results. And this is a great example, this is a great way for us to test it,” said BC Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness Naomi Yamamoto.
Also on display was mobile medical unit which is a hospital on wheels that would be positioned at the nearest operating hospital.
“This is bringing care to where it’s needed, a very high level of care, what you would see in an intensive care unit or in an emergency department of a bricks and mortar except this is on wheels,” said Gerry Delorme, Director of Health Emergency Management BC.