Earthquake risk in B.C.
British Columbia has the highest earthquake risk in Canada. In fact, several thousand small earthquakes are recorded in B.C. every year. A much smaller number are big enough to be felt and over the last 10 years there has been an average of one larger earthquake of at least magnitude 6 per year.
Although earthquake risk exists throughout the Province, it is southwestern B.C. and Haida Gwaii which are at highest risk. This encompasses all of the Lower Mainland, the Fraser Valley and beyond, coastal areas and Vancouver Island.
Why should I care about earthquakes?
Earthquakes happen here but what matters to most people is the potential impact.
Earthquakes cause the ground to shake. It is this shaking which causes damage to buildings, property and infrastructure. It can also trigger a wave known as a tsunami. When an earthquake hits near a populated area, the impact can be widespread and devastating.
Natural Resources Canada says that there’s a 30% chance of an earthquake big enough to cause significant property damage hitting southwestern B.C. within the next 50 years.
How might an earthquake impact me?
Learning from previous earthquakes around the world, the most likely impact of an earthquake to your home could be damage caused by your furnishings and belongings moving. This would include costly breakages and cosmetic damage to your home. Earthquakes may also cause structural damage to your home and to surrounding infrastructure like roads, bridges and utility connections.
BCAA wants to help by providing information about how to prepare your home and your family for an earthquake, and how earthquake insurance can and cannot help to restore your home in the aftermath of an earthquake.
We recommend Natural Resources Canada as a great source of information about earthquakes in B.C. Their main earthquake page provides information and maps showing the latest recorded earthquakes, and links to more information including a live seismogram viewer for earthquake monitoring centres across the country.To be sure that your home is protected speak to a BCAA representative. Everyone is welcome, plus BCAA Members save up to 20% on BCAA Home Insurance.