No major damage is being reported from a magnitude 6.4 earthquake that struck off the coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Friday afternoon. The quake triggered aftershocks as large as magnitude 4.9, but no major damage on the long barrier island or in the city of Vancouver was reported. The area also avoided a tsunami, Bloomberg reported.
But with the city located so close to active Pacific faults, local officials are looking to improve their readiness for a major quake. That includes imitating the protocols used in New Zealand, which Loretta Woodcock, a parks official for the city, was visiting when it was struck by a major quake in February. That quake slammed downtown Christchurch, but Woodcock told CBC News that the response of pre-trained volunteers to the emergency was quick and effective.
Now, following Christchurch's lead, Vancouver officials plan to store emergency supplies for dislocated residents in public parks and to designate community centers as staging areas for rescue and relief efforts in the event that a major earthquake does hit the region. The list of safe havens didn't have an effect on the city's response on Friday; it hasn't been made public yet.