The Big One

What is it?

Noun, an event.

The Big One is a hypothetical earthquake, of magnitude 8.0 or greater, that is predicted to hit North America’s West Coast.

The Pacific North West is located on the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ), where three major tectonic plates meet. In British Columbia, the Juan de Fuca plate is slowly moving underneath the North American plate.

The tension, when released, can come in many forms; one of which is a megathrust earthquake — The Big One—that could stretch between northern Vancouver Island and Southern California.

Why should you know?

 The consequences of an earthquake can range from none at all to complete devastation. Infrastructure in British Columbia and the coastal states is relatively reliable, but even then, the earth’s power is no match for our most seismically equipped communities.

Natural disaster does not discriminate; however, living near a fault line has its risks. In the event of The Big One, preparedness is key. Everyone should make a point of creating a plan so, in the event of an earthquake, what to do and where to go is already established.

Earthquake kits are essential. Experts recommend stocking yours with water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, and a first aid kit.

Why now?

 Scientists have studied seismic patterns, and have concluded that it’s a matter of when, not if.

Every 300 years or so, a megathrust earthquake hits the CSZ. The last one was in January of the year 1700. Now, in 2017, we are long overdue.

For example:

  • The Big One could hit any time.
  • To prepare for The Big One, be sure too keep an earthquake kit stored in your home.
  • Having seen the devastation in Japan, it’s hard to imagine the same in North America.



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