A Disaster risk management approach to seismic risk on Vancouver Island, British Columbia




Seemann, Mark R.

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Communities on Vancouver Island, British Columbia face significant exposure to damaging earthquakes. This seismic risk arises not only from the Island’s proximity to crustal, sub-crustal and subduction earthquake sources in the Cascadia Subduction Zone and from their associated aftershock sequences, but also from environmental (natural and human-made) and social vulnerabilities in Vancouver Island communities and their current capacities to respond and recover from a large seismic event. Seeking to 1) assist community officials and the general public to better understand the scope of the earthquake risk on Vancouver Island; 2) raise awareness of the gaps in Vancouver Island’s risk assessment; 3) encourage and facilitate comprehensive seismic risk discussions at all levels of governance; and 4) offer quantitative data on which to base sound funding and policy decisions, this dissertation offers three new studies, presented in paper format, toward the comprehensive management of seismic risk on Vancouver Island. The first paper, reviews the components of risk and, building on international risk management standards and best practices, develops a new, comprehensive Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Framework for practitioners. This DRM Framework is then used to review existing knowledge of Vancouver Island’s seismic risk. A number of information gaps are identified, and two in particular, mainshock and aftershock hazard assessment, are targeted for further analysis.



Disaster Risk Management, Earthquakes, Vancouver Island, Ground Shaking Probabilities, Cascadia Subduction Zone, Aftershock Hazard