When there is a big earthquake, I would rather go to New Zealand than to Canada

This first-person article is about the experience of Kristina Jenei, a former Canadian nurse who now lives in New Zealand.For more information on CBC’s first-person story, see common problem.

I remember waking up in horror while swinging back and forth in an apartment building in downtown Vancouver. It turns out that I just experienced the first earthquake.

The epicenter of the magnitude 4.8 earthquake is located at December 29, 2015, Located 20 kilometers north of Victoria, did not cause much damage.However, scientists estimate One-fifth chance British Columbia will experience a major earthquake in the next 50 years.

British Columbians live in Cascadia subduction zone, Is the area where Juan de Fuca meets the North American tectonic plate. The problem is that the Juan de Fuca plate is trying to slide under the North American plate, but it is stuck, locked by friction, and the pressure on the fault line is increasing.

When these plates finally loosen, it will result in a type called “Extraordinary Thrust Earthquake“, it may be higher than level 9.0. Five earthquakes Since the start of the record, the score of this indicator has been 9.0 or higher.

However, if you are like me, after the 2015 earthquake, you may soon forget the arrival of the “Big One”.

It was not until I moved to Christchurch, New Zealand that I realized that Vancouver was relatively unprepared for the preparations for a major earthquake.

Christchurch was killed in a series of earthquakes 10 years ago, 185 people. Most commercial areas must be demolished. The shaking caused by the earthquake causes the water to pass through the layers of the ground and transform it into a fluid by liquefying.

One staircase remains on the building that collapsed in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. (Submitted by Kristina Jenei)

As a result, an area of ??Christchurch was called “Red zone“There used to be about 10,000 people living there, but now it’s just destroyed houses. From Richmond to Chilliwack, most of the Metro Vancouver area has The risk of liquefaction is equally high.

During the four months I lived in New Zealand during the pandemic, I experienced three earthquakes-constantly reminding people that something bigger might be about to happen. They are stronger than the earthquakes I experienced in British Columbia. However, I am not so scared because I know I am safe.

They also made me realize Earthquake Survival Pack The 17.5 litre jug that my diligent kiwi husband bought when he was in Vancouver is probably the least we should do.

Earthquake preparation is part of New Zealand’s culture. Earthquakes happen in daily conversations. Everyone I know here has an emergency plan. This is definitely not the case in Vancouver.

When we moved into a new apartment, the landlord provided us with a manual on what to do and where to go when an earthquake occurred.

When Kristina Jenei, a public health researcher in Canada, moved to her home in New Zealand, the landlord provided an earthquake manual. (Submitted by Kristina Jenei)

In order to cope with the anxiety and fear caused by the earthquake, the children learned a book in school, Annoying bugs.Have a application A method widely used by New Zealanders to indicate whether shaking has been reported anywhere in the country.

Have a Similar sites In British Columbia, but I first encountered it while researching this article.

However, the most obvious difference may be New Zealand’s system Ensure that the building meets current seismic standards.The local council based on the national earthquake risk and Pre-defined standards Examples include unreinforced masonry buildings and towers built before 1976.

Building owners, engineering companies, and local councils work together to reinforce or demolish buildings deemed unsafe.

Now imagine the opposite of this: Vancouver.A kind A recent study Researchers at the University of British Columbia have found that tall buildings built before 1990 are at the greatest risk in a major earthquake. There are a lot of people in the city, especially in the west and east of the city.

The law requiring earthquake escalation in British Columbia is unclear. Certain schools and older buildings are regularly upgraded, but the decision seems to be made by the building owner. Unlike New Zealand, New Zealand has clear national building codes and is constantly updated. Management and appraisal Buildings prone to earthquakes.

As a public health researcher and former registered nurse, I think this is a preventable public health problem. However, almost nothing was done.

The results of The Big One will be catastrophic. It is estimated that there will be serious injuries and deaths. 150 buildings That will crash us. The sewage and water system may malfunction. Overcrowding will cause infectious diseases. Our hospital will be overwhelmed: routine services will be interrupted, staff will be unable to use facilities, and medical supplies may be exhausted.

As with other crises, the worst affected may be the most vulnerable people, such as those located in single room (SRO) hotels in the East Side City Center.

According to the 1994 “Declan Research“, 98 of the city’s 171 designated SROs received very poor seismic ratings. Twenty years later, Post Media News It was found that most of these buildings have not yet been upgraded. This is not only DTES. Postmedia’s inspection found that hundreds of buildings in the city that were identified as earthquake disasters in 1994 had not been upgraded, which actually put thousands of people in extreme danger.

Earthquake risk mapped by the city of Vancouver. (Vancouver)

If you are as scared as I am now, please know that we can do something now to minimize the risk.Individually, we can Have a plan And emergency equipment.

But most importantly, we can push our cities to take concrete steps to retrofit buildings that do not meet current standards-similar to angel Done.We can take advantage of next year’s opportunity Municipal election Ensuring this is a priority.

Go to class From all over the world It’s clear: take immediate action to protect your citizens and avoid preventable disasters.

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