Friday, January 26, 2024

Historic reminder of Giant Earthquake of the past, serves as reminder for preparations today

A map from Canadian Geographic traces the impact of a megathrust
earthquake which travelled the West Coast of North American on this
date in 1700

Today was a day for the History books in 1700, January 26 having brought a moment  of significant seismic importance when an M9 megathrust earthquake  ruptured along the Cascadia fault line, 1000 km in length, from mid Vancouver Island to northern California.

Some background from Eathquakes Canada providing a glimpse into the impact on many of the First Nations on Vancouver Island and elsewhere during that event.

The earthquake shaking collapsed houses of the Cowichan people on Vancouver Island and caused numerous landslides. The shaking was so violent that people could not stand and so prolonged that it made them sick. 

On the west coast of Vancouver Island, the tsunami completely destroyed the winter village of the Pachena Bay people with no survivors. 

These events are recorded in the oral traditions of the First Nations people on Vancouver Island. The tsunami swept across the Pacific also causing destruction along the Pacific coast of Japan. 

It is the accurate descriptions of the tsunami and the accurate time keeping by the Japanese that allows us to confidently know the size and exact time of this great earthquake.

The anniversary of the 1700 quake today has made for some observations on Social media, the entries tracing the nature of that seismic event and what we should learn from it.

Towards preparations for the next seismic event in British Columbia follow Prepared BC's information page here.

The provincial agency also observed the historic nature of the day today.

A look at some of the recent seismic activity along the BC and Alaska coast is available through our archive page.

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