Earthquake papers Reducing the risk of earthquake damage in Canada: Lessons from Haiti and Chile Paul Kovacs November 2010 ICLR Research Paper Series - No. 49
In this report sponsored by Lloyd’s, the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction identifies lessons for reducing the risk of earthquake damage in Canada based upon the recent tragic events in Haiti and Chile.
Some day a large earthquake will strike Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa or another large urban centre in Canada. Such an event has the potential to cause loss of life, property damage and economic disruption unprecedented for Canada. The tragic and contrasting experiences earlier this year in Haiti and Chile show that appropriate investments in preparedness and resilience can help prevent future earthquakes from becoming disasters.
There is a solid and growing foundation of knowledge that can be applied to improve preparedness and resilience to the threat of natural hazards. The recent events in Haiti and Chile, for example, provide important lessons for Canada and other countries vulnerable to large earthquakes.
This report identifies seven lessons for Canada, and in doing so, examines the country’s state of preparedness and resilience to extreme earthquake events. There are many areas of strength in Canada’s preparedness and resilience, yet there are also several areas where improvement is needed. Of particular concern is the vulnerability of public infrastructure, some concerns about the preparedness of the federal government, and the need to retrofit older homes and buildings.
In addition, there is scope to improve the dialogue between stakeholders, including public officials, business leaders and the research community. The report also highlights the important role that insurance will play to support the recovery following an earthquake and the essential contribution of research to provide a science-based foundation for action.
We hope this report will foster increased awareness about the potential impact of a major earthquake in Canada, and lead to opportunities to prevent or mitigate the risk of loss. This report seeks to strengthen the willingness to invest further in resilient buildings, infrastructure and preparedness. The best time to act is now, before a large earthquake strikes.