UPDATE: Tsunami warning cancelled for coastal British Columbia

Warning issued following 7.9 earthquake off Kodiak, AK

UPDATE: 6 a.m.

Just after 5:30 a.m., the provincial government issued a statement following the earthquake in Alaska and subsequent tsunami alert along B.C.’s coast line.

“A tsunami warning on the coast of B.C. has now been cancelled. Overnight, several communities along the coast activated their emergency plans and evacuated those at risk,” says Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety.

“Emergency Management BC activated the Provincial Emergency Co-ordination Centre, and five provincial regional operations centres. The agency also supported local governments to evacuate residents. Although the tsunami warning was eventually suspended, this event demonstrates that coast warning systems do work.

“Please do NOT call 911 for information on the tsunami in B.C. – only call 911 when a life is at stake. It is important these lines are freed-up for those in immediate need.

“In the event of a future tsunami warning, stay calm, stay safe; listen to your local officials and head to higher ground.”

The tsunami warning issued for coastal British Columbia was cancelled Tuesday morning after people living along parts of the province’s coast evacuated to higher ground when a powerful earthquake struck off Alaska.

Related: Evacuated Tofino and Ucluelet residents head home after Tsunami Warning cancelled

Residents in some coastal communities were woken by warning sirens shortly after the quake with a magnitude of 7.9 struck at about 1:30 a.m. Pacific time. The quake was centred 278 kilometres southeast of Kodiak in the Gulf of Alaska at a depth of about 10 kilometres.

Patricia Leidl, communications director with Emergency Preparedness BC, said there was a three centimetre wave and a 15 centimetre rise in sea level hours after the quake at Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

The tsunami warning covered B.C.’s north coast, Haida Gwaii, the west coast of Vancouver Island, the central coast and northeast Vancouver Island, and along the Juan de Fuca Strait.

People were told to evacuate inland or to higher ground, or move to an upper floor of a multi-story building, depending on individual situations.

— with files from the Canadian Press

—-

ORIGINAL:

A tsunami warning issued for coastal B.C. following a 7.9-magnitude earthquake off Kodiak Island in Alaska has been cancelled.

The National Tsunami Warning Center cancelled the the alert at 4:12 a.m. PST, “because additional information and analysis have better defined the threat.

The centre did confirm a tsunami had been observed and impacts noted in areas of coastal Alaska, but the maximum height of waves was less than one foot in Kodiak, Homer, Seward and Sitka.

People gathered at the emergency muster centre in Tofino cheered when the final advisory for Vancouver Island’s west coast was lifted.

The National Tsunami Warning Centre issued a tsunami warning for coastal B.C. at 1:35 a.m. PST after the earthquake occurred 279 kms off the coast of Kodiak, Alaska. It was originally listed at a magnitude of 8.2, but was revised to 7.9.

EmergencyInfoBC notes the warning affects the Juan de Fuca Strait coast, the outer west coast of Vancouver Island, the central coast and northeast Vancouver Island, and the north coast and Haida Gwaii coastal areas of British Columbia from Attu, Alaska to the Washington State coastline.

Tsunami warnings, according to the National Tsunami Warning Centre, “mean that a tsunami with significant inundation is expected or occurring. Warnings indicate that widespread dangerous coastal flooding accompanied by powerful currents are possible and may continue for several hours after the initial wave arrival.”

Follow @EmergencyInfoBC on Twitter or their website for more information, or your local Black Press news site.

More to come

Just Posted

Qualicum Beach society goes to bat for insect eaters

Two bat houses built to monitor population in Heritage Forest

Parksville reopens portion of wetland

City undertakes review, remediation of liability concerns

Is Steve Nash Vancouver Island’s best athlete of all-time?

As Captain Canada gets ready to enter basketball’s Hall of Fame it’s time to debate his legacy

Who is Vancouver Island’s greatest athlete ever?

We want to know, you get to choose in a 64-athlete tournament bracket

Vehicle knocks out Parksville power pole

Traffic single lane heading southbound

VIDEO: Canadian Forces help flood-ravaged Grand Forks residents heal

Sgt. Bradley Lowes says the military is used to dealing with traumatic times

Friends and family playing huge role in search for Vancouver Island man

Volunteers from the public join forces with SAR crews

Chilliwack Chiefs make history with first RBC Cup win

In front of a huge and noisy crowd, the Chiefs claimed their first-ever national junior A title.

Central Vancouver Island man dies in single-vehicle collision

Pickup truck with three occupants went off the road near Port Alberni

UPDATED: Majority of flood evacuees in Kootenay-Boundary allowed to return home

Officials hope to have all 3,000 people back in their homes by Monday night

B.C. Lions bring back 6-time all-star offensive lineman Jovan Olafioye

He was acquired by the Montreal Alouettes last year.

Whitecaps rally for 2-2 draw with FC Dallas

Vancouver climbed out of a two-nil hole to tie FC Dallas 2-2

B.C. VIEWS: Making sense of climate policy

Flood and fire predictions have poor track record so far

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

Most Read