Two or three earthquakes occur in British Columbia every day. Most are too small to be felt by humans. However, occasionally we feel some shaking and sometimes damage occurs. On the average, every 10 to 15 years there is a sizeable earthquake that causes damage and loss of life. In the last 100 years British Columbia has had several major earthquakes and most likely we will have a large earthquake in the near future. British Columbia is the most seismic area of Canada because of the geological processes that shape the earth’s crust and create the beautiful coastal mountains that British Columbia is known for.
Earthquakes can happen anywhere in Canada. Experts estimate that more than 2,500 earthquakes occur each year. In fact, a strong earthquake affecting one of Canada’s major urban areas is the most destructive natural disaster this country is ever likely to experience.
In the past 100 years nine earthquakes in or near Canada have registered between 7 and 8 on the Richter scale. A few have caused extensive damage.
Seismologists predict that a major earthquake will occur along the coast of British Columbia. Exactly when is not known, but there is a high probability that British Columbia will be shaken by a strong earthquake in our lifetime.