Nine Years After the Great East Japan Earthquake


Courtney Elementary School

WHAT: A presentation to foster awareness and discussion about disaster preparedness.

WHERE: Courtenay Elementary School

WHEN: Wednesday, March 11, from 6:30-8:30 pm

On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9 earthquake struck off the coast of Japan. It was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in Japan, and the fourth most powerful earthquake in the world since modern record-keeping began in 1900. The earthquake triggered powerful tsunami waves that may have reached heights of up to 40.5 meters. The tsunami also caused a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, which resulted in the evacuation of 10s of thousands of people.

Since then, news about the disaster has seemingly dropped off the radar. What has happened over the past 9 years?

Shawn Thir, executive director of the Courtenay Elementary Community School Society, was a resident of Japan for 23 years and experienced the earthquake firsthand.

Shawn talks about his own experience of the quake, what happened, what he did, and how Japan approaches disaster preparedness.

Shawn is not a disaster planning expert. The purpose of this presentation is to foster awareness and generate discussion around preparing for The Big One given that British Columbia sits upon the Juan de Fuca Plate, which is moving toward and underneath the North American Plate along the Cascadia Subduction Zone.

This talk is open to the public and free of charge. Any donations for the Courtenay Elementary School Society will be graciously accepted.

Note: This multimedia presentation contains photos and video that some may find distressing.

Child-minding will be provided for those who require it.

Seating is limited to 50 spaces. To register, go to:

If you require child minding please contact CECSS at contact [at] with the age and number of children that require care during the presentation.