Tsunami warning issued to Greater Victoria, later cancelled

Residents were advised to seek higher ground

At 1:40 a.m. this morning, the Government of Canada issued a tsunami warning to residents in low-lying areas of Greater Victoria and residents on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

The warning was made via Twitter, online CBC broadcasts, and on television. Official emergency Twitter accounts for the region recommended moving away from beaches, bays, and inlets, and instead move to higher ground away from the coast. There, they should await instructions from local officials.

The warning came after an 7.9 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Alaska at 12:31 a.m. local time (approximately 1:30 a.m. PST).

Later, at approximately 4:30 a.m., the warning was cancelled in Greater Victoria, and the tsunami warning was downgraded to an advisory in Tofino.

Vancouver Island residents have battled weather conditions all week, with numerous storm warnings and power outages up and down the island. But the tsunami warnings offer a more serious threat, with greater geological and seismological repercussions for the region. Before the warning was cancelled, early risers flocked to Mt. Doug and Mt. Tolmie to stay as high and far away from the ocean as possible. Now that the danger is over, however, expect emergency and earthquake kits to be a hot commodity at general stores today.

 

For updates on future emergency events, lower Vancouver Island residents can sign up for Vic-Alert, the municipal government’s emergency messaging service.

This story has been updated to reflect the cancellation of the tsunami warning.

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