Big One, The

Welcome to the Dictionary of Island Terms. Its purpose is to pin down the patois of Vancouver Island by recording its toponyms, nicknames, slang terms, personalities and places. Explore the ever-growing A-Z here.

Big One, The | seismic event, natural disaster | The earthquake that British Columbia has been waiting (and half-heartedly preparing) for. The fault line responsible for it – known as the Cascadian subduction zone – runs for over 1,000 kms from Vancouver Island to Northern California, so much of the Pacific Northwest coast is in danger, especially from the tsunami(s) that will follow. It will be no minor tremor. The pressure between the Juan de Fuca and North American plates (the former plunging under the latter) has been building for hundreds of years, and it will one day give way, resulting in a devastating 8.5+ megathrust earthquake. Geological records show that these massive seismic events occur every 300-500 years or so. The last Big One along this fault was in 1700…so we’re due. Can’t afford a house now? Just wait…

Usage: “I’m not at all prepared for when The Big One strikes. I have two packets of instant ramen and half a bottle of Chardonnay…”

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