Recently only, the Vancouver area suffered from a 7.9-magnitude earthquake and yet, the island was able to steer clear of a destructive tsunami.
Many people were left confused but the seismic specialist, John Cassidy, has something to say to explain how this was possible.
When asked about the type of earthquake that stroke the island today, he said, “Subduction earthquakes like the one in 1964 and the one in 1700 off our coast involve an ocean plate slipping beneath the continent, and what that does is it generates a vertical movement of the sea floor.
So it’s that lifting of the sea floor or dropping of the sea floor that really gets a tsunami initiated.
Today’s earthquake was quite different. It was what we call a strike-slip, it was a horizontal slipping and very little vertical motion, and that’s likely why we didn’t see a tsunami here today.”
When asked about the potential damages if the tsunami had stroked, Cassidy said, “It varies community to community (depending on the local conditions, it’s very sensitive to the local topography, bathymetry) and reminders like the one this morning are very good in that it does give a dress rehearsal.”
For now the coast seems to be clear but Vancouver is a tsunami zone and Cassidy advises everyone to stay safe and stay alert.