Ocean Networks Canada’s earthquake early warning system could give locals valuable time to prepare for an earthquake

Ocean Networks Canada’s earthquake early warning system could give locals valuable time to prepare for an earthquake

Funding bolsters early earthquake warning plans

Oak Bay Fire Chief Dave Cockle figures “the last place you want to be is in the dentist chair when the earthquake hits.”

Oak Bay Fire Chief Dave Cockle figures “the last place you want to be is in the dentist chair when the earthquake hits.”

He was front and centre when the province committed $5-million to Ocean Networks Canada to develop its earthquake early warning system in B.C. that would get someone out of that dreaded chair before a quake.

The early warning system would be valuable for Oak Bay and communities across the seismic region, said Cockle, attending the announcement in his role as president of the BC Earthquake Alliance.

“What we’re looking at here is an opportunity in the future to provide valuable seconds which will enable residents to to take appropriate actions to protect life and property,” he said. “As we move forward, what we do here will make people’s lives better here in Oak Bay and in the CRD and in the province.”

The program would enhance safety for residents in areas of seismic risk. ONC collects data from offshore and coastal strong motion sensors to link with networks of land based sensors from other agencies, including those owned by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Natural Resources Canada and the University of British Columbia.

“Eventually we will have all of the pieces put together that will help us all,” Cockle said.

Oak Bay is already a part of the land-based grid, with a seismometer at the Monterey Avenue fire hall.

“We register immediately with UBC and their systems and they’re providing the information back to us,” Cockle said. “We’re still working on the process to get us linked directly.”

That next step means, when an earthquake hits nearby, such as the one off Sidney late last year, a warning would light up at the fire hall.

“For the firehall here, the future is an automated system,” he said.

Current protocol has firefighters opening the doors and pulling vehicles from the hall as a first priority. An automated system could open those doors first. Other warnings could include the phone system lighting up before the quake hits.

“Those are the key things that help us,” Cockle said.

The funding will add more offshore strong motion sensors and help integrate them with land-based sensors for more robust collection and analysis of seismic activity for early detection and notification tools.

ONC plans to install three more P-wave sensors in the Cascadia Basin, Barkley Canyon and Clayoquot Slope regions and five more along the coast of northern Vancouver Island.


Just Posted

Norman Mogensen sets up strings for his beans in his plot in the Oak Bay community gardens. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay gardener spends decades cultivating, improving daddy’s beans

85-year-old vegan part of the community gardens scene

Diana Durrand and Arlene Nesbitt celebrate the new artist space in 2014. Gage Gallery moves this summer from Oak Bay to Bastion Square in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Gage Gallery moving to Bastion Square

Vivid Connections, a showcase by Laura Feeleus and Elizabeth Carefoot, opens new venue June 29

Theatre SKAM is offering mobile, pop-up performances to Greater Victoria residents once again this summer. They’ll feature emerging artists Yasmin D’Oshun, Courtney Crawford, Kaelan Bain and Kendra Bidwell (left to right). (Courtesy of Theatre SKAM)
Theatre performances can be ordered to Greater Victoria front yards this summer

Theatre SKAM offering mobile, pop-up performances once again

Days after students’ return to Victoria High School was delayed by a year, the province has announced some amenities that will be included in the school’s expansion project. (Photo by Cole Descoteau)
Child-care spots, artificial turf field, non-profit space included in Vic High expansion

SD61 now aims to welcome students back at the high school by September 2023

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The Victoria woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Most Read