Potentially huge losses from future earthquakes in Eastern Canada study

first_imgMONTREAL – While people in British Columbia are mindful of the fact they could eventually face some of the strongest earthquakes in the world, at least one study warns there’s a lack of awareness of the risk in Eastern Canada.One report released last summer predicts Montrealers could suffer $45 billion in economic losses if the city were to experience an earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale. That’s the estimated strength of a tremor that hit Montreal in 1732.Maurice Lamontagne, a seismologist with the Geological Survey of Canada, says 300 houses were damaged back then but if a similar earthquake were to occur now it “would cause a lot more damage.”The study by Zurich-based Swiss Re, a company that helps cover other insurers, noted that Quebec’s Charlevoix region northeast of Quebec City was hit in February 1663 by a 7.0 magnitude quake.Lamontagne added that in 1929, an earthquake just off the shore of Newfoundland measured 7.2 on the Richter scale.The tsunami that followed caused most of the devastation and killed 28 people when it hit the shore.Each year, there are about 450 quakes in Ontario and all points east.“You don’t get huge earthquakes like they get in Japan, in California,” Lamontagne said. “But we do get what you call moderate earthquakes, so six to seven on the Richter scale are possible.”The Swiss Re study, entitled: “Earthquake Risk in Eastern Canada: Mind the Shakes,” says quakes in the East tend to be of lower magnitude than in the West, “but their loss-inflicting potential, particularly in southern Quebec and eastern Ontario, is huge.”The study points out that three of the biggest cities in Canada — Montreal, Ottawa and Quebec City — are all located in the most earthquake-prone regions of the East.Two tremors measuring 3.0 and 3.5 were recorded in the Beaupre region on Jan. 2 and Jan. 4 and were felt in Quebec City, about 40 kilometres away.Pierre Babinsky, a Quebec spokesman for the Insurance Bureau of Canada, says 85 per cent of people it surveyed in 2017 said they didn’t think their home was at risk of being damaged by an earthquake.“It’s about three per cent of people who have earthquake insurance in the Quebec City area, about four per cent in Montreal,” he said. “And Charlevoix, where they felt a few stronger earthquakes, the average isn’t much higher.”In B.C., 65 per cent of households have earthquake insurance, according to Swiss Re.“In the case of earthquake risk in Quebec, most people are unaware — or if they are aware that it’s the second seismic zone in Canada, they don’t believe it will actually affect them,” Babinsky said.In June 2010, the Parliament Buildings were evacuated following a 5.0 magnitude earthquake near Ottawa. Several buildings are still undergoing major renovations that include seismic reinforcement of foundations and walls.Babinsky said the insurance bureau has been raising awareness by touring cities in Quebec with a simulator, so people can experience an earthquake of 7.0 magnitude.“Maybe they just want to prepare their home, maybe they want to get some insurance, it’s up to them,” he said, “But we want them to have the information they need to make that decision.”It would cost an additional $200 a year for earthquake coverage.Babinsky stressed the insurance industry has the required capital to cover a major quake, which he said would be about nine on the Richter scale in British Columbia and about seven in Quebec.“Right now, for all the policies that are out there, both residential and commercial, the industry has enough capital to cover any claims that would occur in one of those types of earthquakes,” he said.“But if we have two successive earthquakes…then obviously we need to make sure that we’re ready as an industry and as a financial sector to go through that.”Seismologist Lamontagne says there’s a 45 per cent chance that Charlevoix will have an earthquake over the next 50 years that would cause significant damage. For Montreal, it’s about “maybe 10, 15 per cent over the next 50 years.”“In 1988, there was a 5.9 quake south of Chicoutimi that was felt everywhere in Quebec and in the coming decades we’ll have another one of that order,” he predicted.—–Some tips from Canadian insurance companies about preparing for an earthquake:— Know the safe and dangerous places in your home; plan and practise evacuation.— Decide with family members where to meet in case of separation after an earthquake.— Talk to relatives about what to do if they’re at home, school, or at work and the quake separates your family.— Place heavy objects on lower shelves to prevent them from falling on someone.— Secure tall pieces of furniture and shelves, mirrors and furniture on wheels.— Make sure chemical products are securely stored.— Don’t forget to practise, Drop, Cover, and Hold On.last_img read more

Atlantic Medias Quartz Hits 840k Uniques in First Month

first_imgJust over a month after it launched, Atlantic Media’s international business news site Quartz is reporting it attracted just over 800,000 unique visitors in October. Other audience metrics are already tracking similarly to established digital brands in Atlantic Media’s portfolio, a factor that’s hitting an encouraging note for the startup. Traffic expectations for the early days of the site’s performance were based partly on internal analogs like Atlantic Wire (launched in 2009) and Atlantic Cities (launched in 2011) and partly on gut instinct, but publisher Jay Lauf says results handily beat their 500,000 unique visitor benchmark for month one. “There’s some gut guesswork involved,” says Lauf, “but I think in this case we looked at a combination of our understanding of traffic growth on Atlantic Wire and Atlantic Cities and then the kind of market place Quartz is going after—a defined market of global business leaders. And the fact that we are in a new climate where digital brands can grow quickly if they take advantage of the digital jet stream. Plus, we thought social could really push us to faster growth.” Side-door traffic has so far worked in the site’s favor. Social referrals accounted for 40 percent of Quartz’s traffic in October. By comparison, TheAtlantic.com‘s social referral traffic is in the 30 percent range, a factor that Lauf says bodes well for the so-far less established Quartz. Lauf also believes that high social percentage is what helped drive international traffic—40 percent of October’s uniques were from outside the U.S. That metric was predicted accurately, he says. Launch sponsors were given a 60/40 ratio between domestic and international traffic during the site’s roll-out phase.Thirty percent of Quartz’s traffic came from mobile devices, which again is in line with or higher than other established media properties. Twenty-five percent of The Atlantic’s traffic arrives there via mobile, for example. Despite being built as a mobile-first destination, Lauf says it’s harder to gauge traffic expectations for the platform—”There’s not a huge raft of information on that.”Going forward, Lauf says expectations are to hit 2.5 million to 3 million monthly uniques by the end of next year.last_img read more

Scientists 3Dprint human skin and bone for Mars astronauts

first_img Tags The skin sample was printed using human blood plasma as a “bio ink.” The researchers added plant and algae-based materials to increase the viscosity so it wouldn’t just fly everywhere in low gravity. “Producing the bone sample involved printing human stem cells with a similar bio-ink composition, with the addition of a calcium phosphate bone cement as a structure-supporting material, which is subsequently absorbed during the growth phase,” said Nieves Cubo, a bioprinting specialist at the university. Enlarge ImageThis bioprinted bone sample was made with human stem cells, blood plasma and bone cement. ESA/SJM Photography Imagine walking up to a Star Trek replicator and ordering a bone graft instead of tea, Earl Grey, hot. We’re heading in that direction. The European Space Agency’s 3D Printing of Living Tissue for Space Exploration project aims to print human tissue to help injured astronauts heal when they’re far, far away from Earth.Scientists from the University Hospital of Dresden Technical University in Germany bio-printed skin and bone samples upside down to help determine if the method could be used in a low-gravity environment. It worked. ESA released videos of the printing in action. 14 Photos Share your voice Some of the raw materials, such as blood plasma, would come from the astronauts’ own bodies to protect against transplant rejection. ESA’s project is already looking ahead to adapting the 3D printing of entire organs to space conditions. Just this year we’ve seen advances in printing a tiny heart from human tissue and a breathing lung air sac. These samples are just the first steps for the ESA’s ambitious 3D bio-printing project, which is investigating what it would take to equip astronauts with medical and surgical facilities to help them survive and treat injuries on long spaceflights and on Mars.”Carrying enough medical supplies for all possible eventualities would be impossible in the limited space and mass of a spacecraft,” said Tommaso Ghidini, head of ESA’s Structures, Mechanisms and Materials Division. “Instead, a 3D bioprinting capability will let them respond to medical emergencies as they arise.” Dying space missions remembered in inspiring final imagescenter_img Sci-Tech Post a comment 3D-printing advancements Watch this wild 3D-printed lung air sac breathe Here’s the first 3D-printed heart made from actual human tissue 0 3D printing Spacelast_img read more

Tonight AFROs First Edition with Sean Yoes Monday August 17

first_imgListen at WEAA Live Stream: http://amber.streamguys.com.4020/live.m3uNational politics with political commentators Catalina Byrd and Sean Breeze, including Trump’s dubious policy positions and more hand wringing by Clinton supporters over, “email gate.” And we’ll talk local politics with Byrd and Stephen Janis of The Real News Network, including Gov. Larry Hogan’s alleged war on Baltimore and City Council President Jack Young’s proposal to sell the city-owned Hilton Hotel, in order to build recreation centers. It’s all coming up this evening on AFRO’s First Edition with Sean Yoes.last_img