http://www.oceannetworks.ca/

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

An earthquake early-warning system tested off British Columbia’s coast could give residents anywhere from 20 seconds to two minutes to prepare before a quake.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors developed by Ocean Networks Canada is installed along the Cascadia subduction zone and when fully operating next March will be able to estimate location and magnitude of a megathrust earthquake.

RELATED: Great British Columbia ShakeOut earthquake drill reminder

Greig Bethel of Ocean Networks Canada, an initiative of the University of Victoria, says the system is active even as more sensors are being installed in the area to increase accuracy.

A simulated exercise was conducted Thursday in Vancouver on the 19-kilometre Canada Line stretch of the SkyTrain system, giving transit operators a chance to slow down trains and hold them at stations.

British Columbia is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an active seismic zone where thousands of mostly small earthquakes are recorded annually by sensors in the province.

Most of the quakes happen near the Cascadia subduction zone, an area where the Juan de Fuca and North American tectonic plates converge, stretching from Vancouver Island to northern California.

“Ocean Networks Canada’s earthquake early-warning technology promises a new era of earthquake preparedness that will enhance the safety of both riders and workers on the Canada Line,” says Canada Line general manager Ron Powell.

A news release from the network says to maximize warning time, it will focus on setting sensors as close to the Cascadia subduction zone as possible and on minimizing delays in data processing, communication, and delivery of warnings.

RELATED:Earth still moving in Old Fort, B.C., but not above homes: geologists

Global Positioning System receivers will also be located with the seismic sensors to further refine the magnitude.

Earthquakes release energy that travels through the Earth as seismic waves in two forms — secondary and primary waves.

The primary waves travel faster but the secondary waves are the cause of severe damage and ground shaking.

However, the sensors would detect primary waves to deliver alerts before the arrival of the secondary waves.

“The detection of an earthquake by many sensors can provide rapid estimates of the location and magnitude of an earthquake as it occurs,” the release says. “This information can be used to determine the estimated arrival time and intensity of ground shaking at specific locations across a region, allowing protective actions to take place before the shaking hits.”

The early-warning system can help reduce deaths, injuries and property losses, trigger trains to slow down, stop bridge and tunnel traffic, open bay doors at fire and ambulance halls, halt landings for incoming air traffic, and even allow surgeons to stop delicate procedures, the release says.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Playful pooches take over Bullen Park for free event Saturday, Sunday

Ninth annual Pet-A-Palooza featured a mud run, weiner dog races, puppy stampede and more

Victoria’s Other Secret not so secret anymore

How six Mount Doug teachers turned a lunch jam into $11,000 raised for charity

PHOTOS: Inside the opening of the expanded Westhills Stadium

The grand opening of the expanded stadium in Langford is on schedule for Aug. 24

Take your opportunity to sing at the Royal Theatre

Great Canadian Sing debuts Sept. 8 with inspirational music, talented performers, singalong format

Award-nominated Snotty Nose Rez Kids headline Indigifest 2019 coming to Victoria

Scheduled for Aug. 24, the event is a showcase of Indigenous musicians from around B.C.

70 years of lifting: Canadian man, 85, could cinch weightlifting championship

The senior gym junkie is on track to win the World Masters Weightlifting championship

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

Most Read