A tsunami warning issued for some coastal areas of B.C. after last weekend’s earthquake did not extend to the Sunshine Coast, said Bill Elsner, emergency program coordinator for the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD).
“We were never under any advisory for a tsunami on the Sunshine Coast,” Elsner said. “There was a bit of confusion about that. Some people thought they should have been notified, but it wasn’t necessary because we were never at risk.”
The 7.7 magnitude quake hit Haida Gwaii at 8:04 p.m. Saturday and led to tsunami alerts and advisories for coastal communities in B.C., Alaska and even Hawaii.
Elsner said he received the initial notification from the West Coast Alaska Tsunami Warning Centre — “then I take direction from the province by what their seismologist recommends.”
The province is split into five zones, Elsner said, and the zone that includes the Sunshine Coast — Zone E — was outside the risk area.
“We were never under any evacuation order or alert of any kind,” he said.
Elsner said the region is quite protected from a tsunami event off the west coast of Vancouver Island, but a crustal earthquake on the east side of the island could be a different story.
“It really enforces the reminder that we live in a seismic area and people should have a minimum of seven days of food and water,” he said.
If the real thing did occur, notification would be sent out on the SCRD website and on Twitter. Updates would also be broadcast on radio station 91.7 Coast FM.
As well, fire department and search and rescue teams would go door-to-door to inform people where to go and what to do, Elsner said.
“We would want to inspect buildings before we tell people to go to them,” he said.
Elsner will be holding a public presentation on emergency preparedness at Gibsons Public Library on Saturday, Nov. 24, at 1 p.m. To RSVP, call the library at 604-886-2130.