Our View: Japan shakes our complacency

Among the most mesmerizing messages to come out of Japan this week is the importance of not taking things for granted.

One of the world’s most sophisticated nations, the Pacific Rim country has made an industry out of preparing for massive earthquakes.

Yet, despite the billions of dollars and years of prevention spent on preparing for catastrophe, the forces of nature proved overwhelming.

The lesson for us, of course, is to put even more effort into making sure we’re organized for when the big one hits here.

Undoubtedly, the loss of life and property damage in Japan would have been a magnitude more staggering if the country wasn’t at the forefront of earthquake readiness.

The relentless videos and photographs showing how easily infrastructure was overwhelmed can turn optimists into skeptics and make pessimists feel downright nihilistic. But at least more of us will be shaken from the idea that something like that can’t happen here.

As human beings, we naturally have trouble relating to events that we haven’t directly experienced. But history is very clear that major quakes happen here and they happen relatively often.

Geological evidence tells us one of the greatest earthquakes in human history was the Cascadia megathrust event in 1700, off the west coast of Vancouver Island. Such is life near a fault line — in our case the boundary of the Pacific and North American plates.

We enjoy a spectacular quality of life on Vancouver Island but we also need to do our part to mitigate a catastrophe that could very well happen in our lifetime.

By all means, be prepared. And don’t think twice about doing what you can to help ease the tragedy affecting so many lives overseas.

Sooner or later, we’ll be the ones with outreached arms hoping others can feel compassion for what we’re going through.

 

Just Posted

UPDATE: Missing: 12-year-old girl found

Victora police say missing youth has been found and is safe

The blind lead the blind at the Pacific Training Centre

Centre specializes in teaching visually impaired people everyday skills to live an independent life

Fewer Greater Victoria residents collecting EI benefits

The number of local EI recipients dropped by 5.5 per cent from January 2018 to January 2019

Sidney woman hosts charity shabby-chic furniture sale

Upcycled and refurbed furniture sells to benefit the Alzheimer’s Society of BC and Crohn’sColitis Canada

Student Voice: Reynolds ReyBots qualify for Texas-sized Robot championship

ReyBots robot met premier, ‘dodged’ the competition

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

Wildlife activists slam B.C. business, clubs for ‘wolf-whacking’ contests

Chilcotin Guns, Creston Valley Rod and Gun Club and West Kootenay Outdoorsmen Club under fire

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Vancouver Island motorists attempted CPR on victim in fatal Highway 4 crash

Collision took place west of Whiskey Creek; man in his 70s died

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read