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Earthquake Early Warning System Network Extended on the Connected Coast Network

Earthquake safety has been enhanced along the Connected Coast Network.

The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) is pleased to announce funding from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) to enhance earthquake safety along the Connected Coast Network. Through this collaboration, the SRD will install Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) sensors in high seismic risk areas along the Connected Coast Network route, supplementing NRCan’s national EEW system. The initiative aims to provide crucial seconds of warning to coastal communities before the strongest shaking occurs, enabling the protection of SRD’s infrastructure, and the region’s communities, facilities, and the environment when time is of the essence.

The alerts from the EEW system have the potential to trigger immediate actions by safety systems such as:

  • Stopping traffic from driving onto bridges or into tunnels
  • diverting incoming air traffic
  • allowing surgeons to stop surgery
  • closing gas valves
  • opening fire hall and ambulance bay doors.

These precautionary measures can mitigate the impact of earthquakes and save lives in the process.

Thanks to the funding provided by Natural Resources Canada, the SRD is deploying 25 Earthquake Early Warning Stations at remote B.C. coast sites along the Connected Coast Network. The collaboration between NRCan and the SRD not only expands the EEW sensor network in remote locations but also enhances the system’s robustness through redundant communication paths. Leveraging the Connected Coast fibre optic communication technology, these sensors will transmit vital data seamlessly.

Currently, 6 sensors are installed, with 5 actively transmitting signals. The remaining sites are scheduled for installation and operation by March 2024.

“The SRD is proud to partner on this project that improves the earthquake safety notifications for all British Columbians,” stated Mark Baker, Chair of the Strathcona Regional District. “Through funding from Natural Resources Canada, we are harnessing innovative technology to provide early warnings that enhance the preparedness and response capabilities of our communities. This initiative underscores our commitment to the safety and well-being of our residents.”

“The Government of Canada’s first priority is the health and safety of Canadians. By supporting the deployment of more Earthquake Early Warning sensors, we are ensuring that emergency services and residents of Strathcona Regional District have the warning they need to respond to earthquakes and their related impacts.”  The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources

 

About the SRD   |  www.srd.ca

The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) is the government body providing services to over 48,000 residents within north central Vancouver Island, Discovery Islands and mainland area inlets, representing four electoral areas, a treaty First Nation and five member municipalities.

 

About the Connected Coast Network  |  www.connectedcoast.ca

The Connected Coast Network is bringing new or improved high-speed internet accessibility to 139 rural and remote coastal communities, including 48 Indigenous communities – representing 44 First Nations – along the BC coast from north of Prince Rupert, to Haida Gwaii, south to Vancouver, and around Vancouver Island (bringing potential benefit 175,000 British Columbians, living in 90,000 households). This enhanced connectivity will be provided via a new, purpose built, subsea fibre-optic cable.

The Connected Coast Network is a partnership between CityWest and the Strathcona Regional District

 

About Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)  |  https://www.earthquakescanada.nrcan.gc.ca/eew-asp/system-en.php

NRCan is developing a national Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) system for areas of moderate-to-high risk in the country, focusing on western BC, eastern Ontario, and southern Quebec. EEW is the rapid detection of earthquakes, real-time estimation of the shaking hazard, and notification of expected shaking. EEW provides seconds to tens-of-seconds of notice prior to the arrival of strong shaking, allowing people and systems to take protective actions. The Canadian EEW system will therefore strengthen the resilience of communities and critical infrastructure to earthquakes.

NRCan’s EEW Grants and Contributions program is funding several initiatives which will improve the effectiveness of EEW in Canada. One such initiative is the installation of EEW stations at Strathcona Regional District’s (SRD) sites of interest, which will support SRD’s regional public safety objectives. SRD’s stations enhance EEW in Canada by extending the area of coverage of the national Core Network into remote coastal areas of BC, where the Connected Coast project is installing high-speed communications, via subsea fibre-optic cable. This alternative means of communication will also improve the resilience of the EEW system, and SRD’s stations will improve EEW alert times and the EEW system’s reliability for communities along those coastlines.

 

Photo – Butedale, BC – one of the 25 Earthquake Early Warning Stations at remote B.C. coast sites along the Connected Coast Network.   Photo Credit – Shawn Kennedy.

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Media Contact:
Sheena Fisher – SRD Engineering Services Coordinator
250-830-6719   |   sfisher@srd.ca