Saturday, February 27, 2010

Tsunami Advisory in effect for British Columbia coast

The 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Chile early Saturday morning is resulting in Tsunami alerts being issued up and down the Pacific coast and westward towards Hawaii, Australia, Japan and beyond, including advisories for British Columbia's coastal waters.

The quake which took in place at 10:30 pm Pacific time Friday night, has resulted in heavy damage in Santiago and Concepcion, Chile, with the latest report deaths toll from the tragedy listed as over 140 thus far, strong aftershocks have continued to rattle the area through the morning leaving residents worried about further damage and death.

With such a large quake on the coastal region, the very real threat of Tsunami is now the ongoing concern for much of the nations  of the Pacific, with Hawaii the area of  most concern at the moment. (listen live to Hawaiian radio as they prepare for the arrival of the tsunami in their region)

Australia, New Zealand and the nations surrounding and to the northwest have all issued their own warnings or advisories as the waves move across the Pacific.

In British Columbia a Tsunami advisory has been issued for coastal regions. No significant wave is expected in local waters, and there is little in the way of a severe impact anticipated for BC, but there are expectations for strong localized currents that could put low-lying areas at risk.

Emergency officials in B.C. have warned people to stay out of the water and away from beaches, harbours and marinas. The arrival of the first wave is expected to arrive off B.C.'s south coast by 3:11 p.m. today.

Further advisories and details will be provided by the Pacific Tsunami warning centre and the Provincial Emergency Preparation program as required.

Update: 1:30 pm People in low-lying areas of the exposed B.C. coast are being advised to move to higher ground

Update: 6:20 pm The Provincial Emergency Program ended the tsunami advisory for British Columbia

Some sites with background on this event can be found below:

USGS website
Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre website
Provincial Emergency Program website
CBC Radio News feed

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