There’s no doubt there’s a lot of talk these days about the earthquakes and tsunamis that hit the Pacific Northwest in the past couple of decades.
But the reality is the number of people killed and the cost to our communities is only a small part of the story.
According to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, in the last 15 years, there have been at least 1,100 deaths associated with earthquakes and tidal waves, including at least 40 in the Pacific.
“It’s an enormous tragedy and it’s a very expensive tragedy,” said Dr. Andrew Raine, a researcher with the Geological Survey of Canada.
Raine says the number is far higher than the number killed, but that the number does not include the number that have been injured or the money spent to get to hospitals and other medical facilities.
Riley said there is also an impact on people’s physical health, and people are more likely to feel a physical reaction to the earthquake.
“If you look at all the studies, if you look more deeply into the scientific studies, the incidence of depression, depression is very, very high.
People have a very high rate of depression in the area,” he said.
Rice said there are other causes for the higher numbers, but said the magnitude of the earthquake that hit on Sunday, May 1, is the largest ever recorded.
He said in the region, the average height of the tremor is about 2,400 metres, and a peak of about 6,000 metres was recorded in the Northwest Territories in 2016.
“The peak of 6,100 metres is just beyond the Pacific and the Pacific Ring of Fire,” he explained.
The quake hit the area on the west coast of Canada, at a depth of more than 3,000 kilometres, according to the USGS.