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

International, Disney and Hallmark films set to be filmed in Victoria in 2019

Local and international production companies seeking out film locations in town

Missing Saanich man last seen in Vancouver’s downtown eastside

Jonah Donato, 40, travelled to the mainland in June

‘Goodness prevails’: neighbours reflect following suspicious death of 60-year-old Metchosin man

Martin Payne was found dead in his Metchosin home on Friday. Police have confirmed foul play.

Swim-enthusiasts ready to make a splash at the 2019 Gorge Swim Fest

On July 21, swimmers of all ages make their way to the Banfield Park dock

Toy Run organizer says motorcyclists unfairly targeted

Motorcycle toy drive returns Sept. 29 to Turkey Head

VIDEO: Sparrows raise their chicks in Cadboro Bay deck planter

Jill Yoneda captured 11 days up close with tiny Junco sparrows

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

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

Scheer on Trump: It’s ‘offensive’ to question the family background of critics

Trump is being called a racist for saying that the four congresswomen should go back where they came from

Instagram expands Canadian pilot removing ‘like’ counts to more countries

Social media giant plans to roll out the test in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Japan, Italy and Ireland

Man involved in beating and tasering over a drug debt to be sentenced in Nanaimo

Colin Damen Gary Lamontagne pleaded guilty to charges, including aggravated assault

Pamela Anderson adds star power to B.C. Green Party town hall

Celebrity attended Nanaimo meeting with representatives from U.S.-based environmental group

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

Most Read