Letter to the Editor: Be prepared.

Editor: I suggest your readers go to www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca and search for Modelling Large Tsunamis Generated by Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquakes.These show the possibly tremendous damage likely at both Victoria and Esquimalt harbours from a series of up to 40-foot tsunami waves travelling down the Strait of Juan de Fuca, then around the Saanich peninsula and on to the Gulf Islands.Large areas of downtown Victoria and the naval base at Esquimalt, including all ships there, will probably be wiped out. All small seaside communities both Canadian and US on the Strait will suffer massive damage with Seattle and Vancouver taking a reduced but serious hit.  Tofino, Ucluelet will face almost total wipeout and Port Alberni serious damage. Vancouver Island will probably suffer a severe ferry service cut-off because the terminals and any boats tied up could be destroyed.I don’t wish to be totally alarmist but we are due for this, about 8.5 to 9.0 magnitude. The last time it occurred here was in 1700, which was before written records existed. Oddly enough we know about it from Japanese records of 1700 of a large tsunami hitting their coast some days later. Our scientists predict an approximate time frame of 260 years between events. Since we are now 310 years since then, we are very much overdue.It is calculated Victoria might have 20 minutes warning, Tofino 10 minutes. A 500 mph wave doesn’t take long to get here.The photos and videos out of Japan should wake up all levels of government and us and if nothing else inspire the installation of sirens in all places likely to be hit.Allen WillcocksChemainus

Ladysmith Chronicle