Tsunami scare spurs emergency prep

Parksville Qualicum Beach team has plans in place for potential emergency

While there was no threat of a tsunami in Parksville Qualicum Beach early Tuesday morning, Rob Daman said the Emergency Management Oceanside team was monitoring the situation.

Daman, Qualicum Beach EMO program co-ordinator, said he, Aaron Dawson from the City of Parksville and Jon Wilson from the Regional District of Nanaimo got a call from Emergency Management BC early the morning of Jan. 23 that an earthquake had taken place in Alaska.

RELATED: Tsunami warning cancelled for coastal British Columbia

A tsunami warning was issued around 1:35 a.m. for coastal B.C. following the 7.9-magnitude quake off Kodiak Island. The National Tsunami Warning Center cancelled the alert at 4:12 a.m. “because additional information and analysis have better defined the threat.”

At the time of the warnings, Daman said, the Parksville Qualicum Beach region wasn’t among the threatened regions. Daman said he, Dawson and Wilson continued to monitor the situation, adding the EMO team sent out messages via social media to let residents know what was going on.

“In this case, our tsunami threat is very, very, very different than the west coast of the Island, or even the south or north end of the Island or other areas up the B.C. coast,” Daman said. “That knowledge is huge in an event like this, to understand that our tsunami threat is very minimal (compared) to some of the other areas when we have an earthquake that happened like this one up near Alaska.

“The impact to us is going to be very different than the coastal communities.”

While notifying the public, Daman said the team also did some advanced planning, so that if a tsunami did hit communities to the west or north, the Parksville Qualicum Beach team would be able to support those communities.

Tsunami alarms did sound in Port Alberni, Tofino and Ucluelet between 3 a.m. and 4:40 a.m.

RELATED: Evacuated Tofino and Ucluelet residents head home after tsunami warning cancelled

RELATED: Tsunami warning prompts evacuations in Port Alberni

Daman said the local team reached out to emergency crews in Tofino and Bamfield, and “nobody was requesting any support at that time.”

“From everything we’ve heard, they did a very good job out there and residents co-operated very well.”

Daman said the Town of Qualicum Beach uses a notification system tied into the town recycling program’s digital notification service and the RDN operates a notification system through Connect Rocket. For more information, visit www.rdn.bc.ca/emergency-notifications.

“Now, in an event like (Tuesday’s), because we were not under warning, there was no need. In fact, probably more harm would have come out of it to do alerts for something that doesn’t directly impact us,” said Daman.

If there was an emergency situation in Parksville Qualicum Beach, Daman said to be aware of the hazards people have in their area. Daman also said having a plan in place for each family is a good idea, too.

“This event happened at night, so most people would have been home. Are they ready to leave in a minute’s notice, and if so, do they know what they’re taking with them and where they’re going to go?”

The City of Parksville issued a release Tuesday afternoon stating the city doesn’t notify residents when an earthquake happens “as the shaking creates a self-notifying situation.” The release also states the city doesn’t have a tsunami siren.

“The city does have a plan and should a tsunami warning be issued for our area, residents living in areas below the two-metre elevation would be evacuated using a combination of fire, police and search and rescue personnel.”

Just Posted

BC Housing now involved in Parksville supportive housing project lawsuit

Agency listed as a defendant alongside city over 222 Corfield rezoning

Vernon Panthers harpoon Ballenas Whalers

No. 1 AA ranked Vernon Panthers score 51-14 BC quarterfinal victory at Greater Vernon Athletic Park

Electoral reform ballot returns so far show higher Parksville-Qualicum engagement

Region among top four in percentage of ballots turned in

A cuddle and a coffee: Six Island towns named among Canada’s most cozy

Sidney, Campbell River, Courtenay, Parksville, Tofino and Ucluelet crack Expedia’s top 40

VIDEO: Qualicum Beach fire department gathers food, toy donations

Six fire departments took part in the annual food drive this weekend

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Most Read