On the possible benefits of staying home

by Yule Heibel on December 3, 2005

My neighbourhood association’s website links to Victoria Earthquake Maps, a handy compendium of information for the seismically worried. The Composite Relative Earthquake Hazard map is fascinating: I learned that my home sits on ground rated “low” on the hazard scale. I’m in quadrant 47,500 and 536,300 — that little loopy street that looks like a loose knot amongst all those north-south and east-west running lines, that’s mine. That relative safety-rating is of course worth not-much-at-all if a real disaster strikes: all of our drinking water comes from a single pipe laid underwater in the Upper Harbour to the west of downtown: in case of an earthquake, it’s bound to fail, not least for lying under a bridge almost guaranteed to collapse on top of it. The “balkanised” state of regional municipal politics will make living in a post-earthquake disaster environment additionally …fascinating. One hopes it never happens. Apres mois, le deluge…

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