Tsunami Warning on West Coast Canada

Breaking News!

There has been a strong earthquake off the coast of Northern California.

According to news reports, there is a “Tsunami Warning” for the US Coast from the epicenter to Canadian border.

There is a “Tsunami Watch” for the West Coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia.

This hits close to home for me. I grew up, and am moving back to on July 1, Port Alberni, BC.

Port Alberni has the distinction of being the only city in Canada to be affected by a Tsunami. It was caused by the Great Earthquake that hit Anchorage, Alaska in March 1964. (I believe the 1964 Alaska earthquake was the largest earthquake ever recorded before the Earthquake that hit SE Asia this past December)

As such, Port Alberni has a Tsunami Warning System consisting of air-raid style sirens and loudspeakers that can be heard throughout the valley (they can be heard, very clearly, at the end of the valley… some 20km away from the town centre and the harbour).

Those sirens are going right now. It’s an eerie sound… I wish I was there to hear them.

So far there is no actual warning of a Tsunami, so there is no reason to panic.

The Tsunami Watch has now been CANCELLED

There has been an udpate from the Geological Survey of Canada.

This strong earthquake northwest of Eureka, California would not have been felt, nor have caused damage in Canada. A small tsunami was recorded local to the event’s epicentre, the tsunami warning generated by the Alaska Tsunami Warning Centre has been cancelled.

Update 2

Here’s some historical information on the 1964 Tsunami that hit the West Coast of Canada including the Queen Charlottes and Vancouver Island.

176 tsunamis were recorded in the Pacific Ocean between 1900 and 1970. Of these, the most damaging tsunami to occur on the British Columbia coast was caused by a magnitude 9.2 earthquake which struck Alaska on March 27, 1964. Waves over six metres high reached the Queen Charlotte Islands and swept along the west coast of Vancouver Island. British Columbian communities including Hot Springs Cove and Port Alberni were deeply impacted. There were no casualties because the first wave served as a warning, alerting emergency services in order to prevent loss of life. The second wave arrived 90 minutes later and was very damaging. This tsunami receded 18 hours later, causing direct losses of approximately $10 million in damage.

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