PRINCE RUPERT, BC – At 1:32 am this morning there was a 7.9 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Kodiak Alaska. The Prince Rupert Fire Department was notified via automated recording by Emergency Management BC that a tsunami warning was in effect for our area. Directly following notification, staff mobilized an Emergency Operations Centre at the Prince Rupert Fire Hall to respond in the case of an event. The Recreation Complex was also activated as an Emergency Reception Centre to receive evacuees, should it be required.
“As soon as our staff received notice of the earthquake, our Emergency Operations Centre was initiated and Emergency staff gathered at the Fire Hall,” stated Dave McKenzie, Prince Rupert Fire Chief. “Staff were in direct contact with Emergency Management BC who provided updates regarding the warning status. Based on available data, it was not necessary to call a local state of emergency.”
Fire and RCMP patrolled low-lying and waterfront areas to ensure that community members retained a safe distance from potential tidal events. RCMP and Fire Department were poised to initiate evacuation procedures by notifying residents door to door should it be required. The highest wave recorded on the BC Coast was located at Langara, BC, and was 12.2 cm.
Local 911 dispatch received 18 calls from the community regarding the notification. As more information became available, updates were additionally posted to social media.
It was noted that many community members attended the Prince Rupert Regional Hospital during the warning. Although it is considered high ground, to prevent interaction with local emergency traffic, it is requested that the community please avoid the area surrounding the hospital during tsunami warnings. The Prince Rupert Recreation Complex is the Emergency Evacuation Centre in the event of an emergency impacting the community.
The City of Prince Rupert is currently commissioning a study to identify local inundation zones that will be at risk for flooding in the event of a tsunami event. This will further inform the City’s Emergency Response Plan and priorities for evacuation in the event of a tsunami in future.
Communications Manager, City of Prince Rupert
Office: (250) 627 0976 ext. 276
Cell: (778) 884 6285