The Metro Vancouver region of southwestern British Columbia (B.C.) lies at the forefront of the North American plate. On the western edge of the North American plate, the Juan de Fuca plate is subducting beneath and slowly deforming the continent. The dynamic geological setting makes this densely populated region susceptible to frequent seismic activity and increases the risk of disastrous megathrust earthquakes. The Metro Vancouver region is surrounded by the Coast Mountains and the Pacific Ocean making it somewhat isolated and vulnerable in the event of a large earthquake. The region plays a large role in the well-being of the Canadian economy. Key facilities include the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and the shipping ports which serve as economic passageways to the region. Recent megathrust earthquakes, such as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake in Japan, have brought up new concerns about seismic hazards and preparedness of the Metro Vancouver region. The objective of this web-atlas is to create awareness and educate the general public about the megathrust earthquake risk in Metro Vancouver. To evaluate such risk, the web-atlas contains four interactive maps including a Tectonic Settings Map, a Physical Vulnerability Map, a Human Vulnerability Map, and a Risk Mitigation Map.
About the Authors
Youn C. Jeong is a 4th year student
working towards a Business Major and
a Geography Minor.
Leona Christie is a 4th year Computing Science
student working towards a Geographic Information
This web-atlas was created for Geography 351 course at Simon Fraser University. Instructor: Dr. Suzana Dragicevic Teaching Assistant: Richard Minardi
The Physical Vulnerability Map displays different natural hazards that may be triggered by a megathrust earthquake including liquefaction, landslides, and flooding. Click on any natural hazard button to view the corresponding areas at risk in Metro Vancouver.
Metro Vancouver is the center of major urban development in British Columbia and is the home of many different industries that help support the economy of the entire region as well as the country. The Human Vulnerability Map examines the risk of damage to human infrastructures including airports, bridges, electrical transmission line, ferry terminals, highway, ports, railways, and the SkyTrain line. Click on any human infrastructure button to view its corresponding location. Detailed descriptions of earthquake-triggered damage to the infrastructures are also provided with the human and economic consequences.
Disaster Response Route (DRR)
In the event of a megathrust earthquake, Metro Vancouver will be in a state of emergency. Disaster Response Routes (DDRs) are pre-identified routes that allow for the fastest and safest movement of emergency services and supplies to areas they are needed the most. Some of the emergency services provided by disaster response personnel include:
- transporting and treating sick and injured people
- maintaining law and order
- putting out fires
- rescuing trapped people
- restoring water supply
- restoring electricity supply
- maintaining traffic control
There are two types of DRRs: Local (Municipal) DRRs and Provincial (Ministry of Transportation) DRRs. Following a declaration of a local or provincial state of emergency, only designated disaster responders and suppliers with valid DRR identification are allowed to use the DRR routes. The routes will be activated for only as long as they are needed. The public is encouraged to listen to the radio and television for public service announcements regarding which DRRs have been activated.
Information regarding DRRs presented here along with additional information can be found on the Government of British Columbia's website.
note: data presented on map is an approximation
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