WATCH: More than 880,000 people participated in the 2017 ShakeOut B.C. The annual event raises awareness of what to do when a quake strikes. Isabelle Raghem reports.
Students at Royston Elementary in Royston near Courtenay participated in drills Thursday morning for The Great British Columbia ShakeOut.
The school’s principal, Katie Doran, says earthquake sound effects echoed in hallways and classrooms to simulate a disaster.
“It was an explosion sound, breaking glass and so forth, that I played over the PA. And then the sound stopped and I waited a while and actually turned the sound back on so it would be replicating an aftershock.”
Students then counting 60-seconds following the aftershock, before getting out from under their desk and evacuating outside.
It’s a similar drill to the one that reportedly happened in Mexico City hours prior to the magnitude 8.0 quake, a practice believed to have saved lives.
But just how much of an impact will a quake have on your property? The website tool Quakey Victoria, uses public data, to provide some answers.
“It gives you information about the soil on your property, that is underneath the ground and how those materials influence the earthquake hazard,” explains founder Ben Kerr.
For $19.99 the website provides property owners with a report about the risk of hazards according to land data. A property on soft clay, for example, showed up as ‘medium to high’ for risk of amplification.
“This would be the the first step to providing some information to an engineer or a builder to start making actual upgrades on your property,” adds Kerr.
At Victoria City Hall, councillors also prepped for a shake ducting under tables and counting to 60-seconds.
“We need to prepare ourselves as individuals and as communities to deal with what could be a cataclysmic issue,” says Councillor Chris Coleman.
“We have a one in three probability of experiencing a damaging earthquake in the next 50 years, so this is our opportunity to practice the correct behaviour,” explains Victoria’s Emergency program coordinator Tanya Patterson.
Found out more about resources and safety tips from Victoria’s Emergency Preparedness team by clicking here.