The Globe and Mail reported yesterday:
VANCOUVER — Scientists have alerted British Columbia’s emergency-planning department to the possibility of a catastrophic earthquake striking the province’s southwest coast next week.
While the probability of a quake is still low, rapid strides in earthquake detection have given federal scientists with the Pacific Geoscience Centre on Vancouver Island greater confidence in their ability to predict when and where one will occur. Garry Rogers, a seismologist at the centre, compared the current earthquake odds to the dangers of driving a car.
“Everyone drives their car every day, and the probability of getting in a car accident is small,” Dr. Rogers said. But during rush hour, the probability of getting into an accident is much higher. “Well, Vancouver Island is now driving in rush hour.”
What prompted the alert was a series of imperceptible tremors emanating from deep beneath the ocean, which scientists now recognize as ominous warnings that the earth is on the move again off Vancouver Island.
They now estimate the long-awaited giant quake will hit closer to the island’s western shoreline than previously thought.
The tremors occurred on what is known as the Cascadia subduction zone, which lies beneath the Pacific Ocean off the West Coast and runs from Vancouver Island to Northern California. The rumblings began last week near Puget Sound near Seattle and made their way north to Vancouver Island in recent days.
The tremors — known in earthquake-speak as an episodic tremor and slip — monitor the ongoing strain between the solid earth on the West Coast and the offshore Juan de Fuca Plate.
As of Sunday morning, the Pacific Geoscience Centre reported that “the current Episodic Tremor and Slip event appears to have stopped. There has been no significant tremor activity on southern Vancouver Island during the past 24 hours.“