23 June 1946

The 1946 Vancouver Island earthquake strikes Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

The 1946 Vancouver Island earthquake was a significant seismic event that occurred on June 23, 1946, off the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. It is known as one of the largest earthquakes to have struck the region in the 20th century.

Magnitude and Location: The earthquake had a magnitude of 7.3 on the Richter scale. Its epicenter was located approximately 15 kilometers (9 miles) southwest of Courtenay, a town on Vancouver Island.

Tectonic Setting: The earthquake was the result of the Juan de Fuca Plate subducting beneath the North American Plate. This region is part of the highly active tectonic boundary known as the Cascadia Subduction Zone.

Damage and Impact: The earthquake caused widespread damage across Vancouver Island and the nearby mainland. The strongest effects were felt in the communities of Courtenay, Comox, and Campbell River. Buildings and infrastructure suffered significant damage, including collapsed chimneys, cracked walls, and landslides. A tsunami was generated as a result of the earthquake, causing additional destruction along the coast.

Casualties: The earthquake resulted in the loss of two lives. One person died in Courtenay due to a heart attack induced by the shaking, while another person was killed by a landslide near Campbell River.

Tsunami: The earthquake triggered a tsunami that affected the coastal areas of Vancouver Island and the surrounding region. The wave heights varied along the coast, with some areas experiencing waves as high as 5 meters (16 feet). The tsunami caused damage to harbors, boats, and coastal structures.

Response and Recovery: Following the earthquake, emergency response efforts were launched to assist those affected and to assess the damage. Rescue teams were dispatched to affected areas, and relief supplies were provided to the impacted communities. The process of rebuilding and recovery took several years.

Seismic Awareness: The 1946 Vancouver Island earthquake highlighted the need for increased seismic awareness and preparedness in the region. It contributed to the development of seismic monitoring networks and the implementation of stricter building codes in earthquake-prone areas.

The 1946 Vancouver Island earthquake serves as a reminder of the seismic activity that characterizes the Cascadia Subduction Zone and underscores the importance of ongoing efforts to mitigate the potential impacts of future earthquakes in the region.

23 June 1972

U.S. President Richard M. Nixon and White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman are taped talking about illegally using the Central Intelligence Agency to obstruct the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigation into the Watergate break-ins.

23 June 2016

The United Kingdom votes in a referendum to leave the European Union, by 52% to 48%.

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23 June 1913

The Greeks defeat the Bulgarians in the Battle of Doiran during the Second Balkan War.

The Battle of Doiran was a battle of the Second Balkan War, fought between the Bulgarian and the Greek army. The battle took place in 23 June 1913.

The Greek armed forces, after the victory at Kilkis-Lachanas, continued their advance north and successfully engaged the Bulgarians at Lake Doiran. As a result of their subsequent defeat, the Bulgarian forces retreated further north.

The Doiran Lake was at the right wing of the Bulgarian line of defense. The 2nd Bulgarian Army was responsible for the defense of this sector. The Bulgarian artillery was for some time successful against the Greek attack.

The Bulgarians evacuated the region and retreated north after several hours of fighting.

23 June 2014

Syria’s declared chemical weapons are shipped out for destruction.

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Syria has handed over the last of its declared stockpile of chemical weapons, which will be destroyed at sea over the next two months, the UN’s chemical weapons watchdog has said.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical weapons (OPCW) announced that the final 8% of Syria’s acknowledged arsenal of chemical weapons and precursors had been loaded on to a Danish freighter.

The ship, the Ark Futura, is now sailing to the Italian port of Gioia Tauro for a rendezvous with an American vessel, the MV Cape Ray, which is specially equipped to neutralise the most dangerous of the chemical agents at sea.

“The mission to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons programme has been a major undertaking marked by an extraordinary international cooperation,” said Ahmet Uzumcu, the OPCW’s director-general. “Never before has an entire arsenal of a category of weapons of mass destruction been removed from a country experiencing a state of internal armed conflict. And this has been accomplished within very demanding and tight timeframes.”

However, Uzumcu added that the OPCW was not in a position to certify that Syria no longer had any chemical weapons. The materials removed were those that the regime had declared.

Western governments claim to have intelligence suggesting that Damascus has not admitted to all its chemical arms. An OPCW investigation team has found evidence that chlorine gas was used against civilians in recent months “in a systematic manner”, but the team has been unable to reach the site for further investigation because it came under attack.

Possession of chlorine is not a violation of the chemical weapons treaty, as it is a commonly used chemical, so Syria was not required to list chlorine on its declared inventory. But its use as a weapon is a violation of international law.