You’re all gonna die. (Whatever).

Well, this is a chipper document to read while the west coast is on tsunami alert because of the big earthquake in Chile. An internationally known structural geologist says to Tofino “You’re all gonna die. (Whatever).” If the well-wishes weren’t bad enough, the excruciating punctuation adds the perfect fingers-on-a-chalkboard note.

Tofino Residents

Sometimes I wish I didn’t know the things I know (see references listed at the bottom of this article).

But even if I didn’t have a PhD in Structural Geology (study of movements in the Earth’s crust, e.g. faults), and even if I hadn’t read most every scientific paper published about the earthquake and tsunami risk here on the West Coast, I think I’d be asking someone who did know. This is life-and-death stuff.

Even more relevant now, with a new geological study published last month, saying that the likelihood of the big earthquake+tsunami is nearly 4 times as likely to happen within the next 50 years than previously thought. I sold my house on Chestermans based on the old data

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5 thoughts on “You’re all gonna die. (Whatever).

  1. Hey, thanks for the reblog, Westcoaster.

    Tofino has a new mayor since I left… I have not really followed what’s happened there as far as disaster preparedness since she’s taken the reins. When I lived there, I became VERY frustrated by the lack of seriousness about the issue of the coming megathrust earthquake and tsunami – both from the Tofino municipal government and from the community as a whole. (Hence the “Whatever” in the post title…since that seemed to be their attitude).

    But this is an issue that Tofino and all other coastal communities really need to take seriously. Just like what happened in Chile yesterday (and recently in Japan and in Indonesia), we will have a big earthquake which is immediately followed by a big tsunami. Damage (and injuries) from that earthquake will make it hard for people to evacuate to above the tsunami inundation zone (they may have as little as 15 minutes). Damage from both the earthquake and the tsunami will hamper efforts to get aid in to the area for months… Lots to think about.

    I have no regrets about my move to Port Alberni. Yes, we are still prone to tsunamis here (I bought in the upper part of town, above the inundation zone, of course). But earthquake and tsunami planning have been on people’s minds here for years… I can hear the tsunami siren from my house, as it does a test every month. Planning and preparing could still be improved here, of course – but at least it’s happening!

  2. No worries. A friend of mine was on the Tofino tsunami task force or whatever it was called. You’re quite right: when the Big One comes, we are screwed. I live in a cabin built on a wooden platform in the middle of the forest, and my best (facetious) hope is that the damn thing will float for awhile at least. At least it’s on the slope of a hill.

  3. You may be high enough where you are – at least some parts of Poole’s Land are fairly high, I think. But just remember, the earthquake itself is your warning. Don’t hang in your cabin waiting for it to float! Run immediately up a nearby hill (along a route you have scouted in advance). Even if you don’t have time to grab anything to take with you… you only need to survive 12 hours or so until the tsunami waves have stopped coming in, so you won’t need much (although if you do have a little grab’n’go kit by your door, that would be helpful – don’t need much to be comfortable: a fleece sweater, a space blanket, a granola bar and a small bottle of water would be plenty).

    And then the fun will start… what the next 2 to 3 months will be like in Tofino, as the food will quickly run out.

  4. Thanks, that’s good advice. I have an emergency kit all packed and the trail up the hill goes right by the cabin.

    My long-term plan for the quake/tsunami/revolution is to steal a boat and go completely offshore. As long as we keep land in sight, we can’t go too far wrong. There’s a canoe on the path up the hill, in fact. Now where the paddles are is anyone’s guess.

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