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7.5.5: British Columbia

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    The Provincial Emergency Program (PEP) is the responsibility of the attorney general of British Columbia. An Earthquake Preparedness Section has been organized within this program; this includes a multidisciplinary Seismic Safety Committee. As of 2003, a resource pool drawn from several Provincial ministries makes up the Temporary Emergency Assignment Management System (TEAMS), which manages the government’s response to any hazard, including earthquakes. PEP has developed curriculum learning resources for elementary and secondary schools.


    In November 1996, British Columbia held its third earthquake response exercise in its Thunderbird Series in the Greater Victoria area, responding to an imaginary M 6.9 earthquake fifteen miles from downtown Victoria. The main purpose was to train Provincial response coordinators, with a secondary goal of evaluating a local community college as a coordinating and communications center in the event of an earthquake. More recently, the province conducted a tsunami hazard warning and alerting exercise based on a series of waves affecting the entire B.C. coastline. The exercise was followed by public education and awareness workshops in each coastal community. The adjacent Province of Alberta is collaborating with British Columbia in preparing for an earthquake, recognizing that when the subduction-zone generates an earthquake, Alberta will be part of the response.


    The British Columbia Geological Survey has focused on hazard maps of the city of Victoria and of New Westminster and Chilliwack on the mainland. These maps are as detailed as any on the west coast and are suitable for micro-zonation and land use planning. The Victoria maps may be accessed at surficial/hazards/default/htm.

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