A few days ago, those of us who live in the West Kootenay felt a bit of a rumble. A mild earthquake, less than 5.0 on the Richter scale rumbled our area. Slightly unsettling for those of us who noticed, but no damage done.
Our fellow mountain dwellers in Nepal weren’t so lucky. The temblor that hit them registered a whopping 7.9, with aftershocks reaching nearly 7.0. Thousands have died.Tens of thousands are injured. Hundreds of thousands are afraid to return to their literally shaky homes.
With the Johnsons Landing slide clearly in mind, no community knows better then we, that when Nature shrugs, there is little those in the direct path of the shrug can do. However, for those caught on the periphery of events like the recent Nepali quake, there are definitely things that can be done to mitigate the death, injury, and damage.
We need to develop new styles of building in mountainous regions. Buildings and dwellings sensitive to local conditions, that embody best practices in regions prone to events like earthquakes, avalanches, mud and rock slides, and other natural calamities.
The Nepali earthquake had nothing to do with climate change. Yet that phenomenon alone makes it obvious that we need to tackle this issue, and urgently.
This is precisely the sort of thing we envisage the Kootenay Centre for Applied Creativity (some of us have already started referring to it as the Kootenay Centre for Mountain Culture) taking on. Let’s create concrete, meaningful solutions for the sorts of challenges we face, those of us who choose to live in the world’s remote, mountainous regions.
Our hearts go out to our sisters and brothers in Nepal.
Let’s get to work.