Collaboration between research, private and government sectors means a comprehensive earthquake early warning system could be just around the corner for British Columbia. The South Coast already has a number of early warning systems in place that use a variety of sensitive instruments to detect primary seismic waves. Some of these systems rely on interconnected network of sensors and alarms that require internet connection while, others are stand-alone units that do not rely on a network or power source. In 2009, PBX Engineering took part in a Government Project to install an earthquake early warning system in BC’s busiest underground highway section, the Massey Tunnel. This system is designed to provide drivers travelling in the tunnel with advanced warnings of larger seismic waves – waves that may result in partial or full collapse of the tunnel – and also, barring new vehicles from entering the tunnel by lowering gates at both entrances.
On February 29, 2016 the Government of BC announced a 5$ million investment in earthquake early warning systems technology to a world-renowned underwater research group operating out of the University of Victoria, BC. The funding is proposed to install further sensors and also to collaborate with private and government sectors to bring a comprehensive and public earthquake early warning system. The importance and various aspects of such systems for BC and our earthquake preparedness is explored and described in the March/April 2016 issue of Innovation, a bimonthly magazine published by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC.
PBX Engineering is a full-service electrical engineering firm with a wide range of expertise in delivering infrastructure projects. Please visit our Expertise page for additional information related to our technical knowledge and application areas.