New Zealand earthquake a reminder for Victoria
When word came that an earthquake devastated Christchurch, New Zealand on Monday, Victoria Fire Chief Doug Angrove and Brock Henson, Saanich emergency program officer, reached out to their emergency counterparts there.
A 6.3-magnitude quake – said to be one of the nation’s worst-ever natural disasters – has led to more than 70 deaths, trapped scores more under debris and ravaged city infrastructure.
“We do have such a close tie with Christchurch,” said Angrove. “We just can’t imagine what they’re going through down there.”
The men visited New Zealand’s second-largest city last fall with a team of Victoria city engineers, planners and emergency officials following a September quake that left Christchurch vulnerable.
Watching the city's recovery process prompted Angrove and Henson to say the crisis should serve as a reminder to Greater Victorians to be prepared with seven days' worth of supplies on hand.
“Are we going to be so prepared that it’s not going to be a disaster?” Henson asked. “My answer would be no. It’s going to be a disaster, but we can take significant steps … to lesson the effects that disaster is going to have.”