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Island regional district expanding earthquake early warning system

During an earthquake, every second counts.

A new early warning system being installed along the Island’s coast will provide crucial seconds of warning to coastal communities in an earthquake event, triggering warnings before the strongest shaking starts.

The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) is working with the Connected Coast Network to install sensors in high seismic risk areas, significantly expanding the current system.

“The SRD is proud to partner on this project that improves the earthquake safety notifications for all British Columbians,” says Mark Baker, chair of the Strathcona Regional District. “Through funding from Natural Resources Canada, we are harnessing innovative technology to provide early warnings that enhance the preparedness and response capabilities of our communities. This initiative underscores our commitment to the safety and well-being of our residents.”

The upgrade will allow coastal communities to react quickly to protect infrastructure, communities and the environment.

The alerts from the EEW system have the potential to trigger immediate actions by safety systems such as:

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  • Stopping traffic from driving onto bridges or into tunnels
  • Diverting incoming air traffic
  • Allowing surgeons to stop surgery
  • Closing gas valves
  • Opening fire hall and ambulance bay doors

Currently, six sensors are installed, with five actively transmitting signals. New federal funding will allow the regional district to install 25 more. They are scheduled for installation and operation by March 2024.

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