As the Pacific Northwest begins its biggest-ever emergency exercise, B.C.—and Vancouver—mostly watches from the sidelines
The scenario is grim: a 9.0-magnitude earthquake strikes off the coast of Cascadia, rattling cities from Vancouver to Eureka, California, and triggering 10-metre-tall tsunamis. In this imagined (and perhaps inevitable) version of the Big One, thousands die, many more are injured, roads crack, and ports are decimated. June 7 marked the beginning of the largest-ever emergency exercise in the Pacific Northwest, one that’s preparing for this worst-case scenario. Cascadia Rising is being conducted over five large-scale exercises in three states with 6,000 emergency responders and military personnel. B.C., meanwhile, is partaking as well, albeit on a smaller scale, with a $1.2-million exercise in Port Alberni (“We purposely kept the scope and scale to a manageable level to create the foundation for future exercises,” a ministry spokesperson says). As for Vancouver? Well, it seems we’re on our own—this time, anyway.