Social media is not a saviour

The Oct. 27 earthquake off the coast of Haida Gwaii showed us social media is not a reliable method to alert people of danger.

The Oct. 27 earthquake off the coast of Haida Gwaii proved just how unprepared we are for a natural disaster. More specifically, an earthquake and resulting tsunami.

The province failed to broadcast any type of warning until 45 minutes after the 7.7-magnitude quake — Canada’s largest on record — shook the Haida Gwaii region.

Should a tsunami have been created, it would have hit areas like Tofino 30 minutes before a warning was issued.

Footage that is emerging from the quake is also disturbing in that, two weeks after the Great British Columbia ShakeOut province-wide earthquake drill implored people to drop, cover and hold on, people chose to run or document the quake without taking cover.

This event proved that social media is not a reliable method to alert people of danger. Neither are media alerts or municipal emergency telephone call alerts.

On Oct. 27, when this quake struck, people would likely have been out at restaurants, parties and other places away from media broadcasts and, yes, even Facebook and Twitter.

Despite being ubiquitous, modern technology is not a sure-fire way of spreading urgent messages.

New technology might be useful for day-to-day activities, but when you-know-what hits the fan, emergency sirens and a plan have no equal.

— Nanaimo News Bulletin

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