UPDATE: Tsunami warning ended for Greater Victoria

Homes in Colwood near Esquimalt Lagoon were evacuated after tsunami warning for coastal areas of B.C. after 7.9 earthquake off Alaskan coast

UPDATE: Emergency Management BC ended the tsunami warning for the region.

Emergency crews were on high alert as a tsunami warning was issued early this morning for coastal areas of B.C.

EmergencyInfoBC was forecasting that tsunami activity could arrive in the Victoria area at approximately 5:30 a.m.

Sidney Fire and Oak Bay Fire have both tweeted that while there is no advisory to evacuate, residents are asked to stay away from beaches and marine infrastructure.

Local fire departments were called into stations at around 2 a.m. Tuesday.

Emergency crews began evacuating homes in Colwood near the Esquimalt Lagoon shortly after 3 a.m.

All emergency centres, including one provincial site, were activated on the Island.

At the West Shore emergency command centre Colwood Fire Chief John Cassidy said there are five low lying areas in Colwood that could be impacted. Two of those are on the Department of National Defence’s (DND) property, the third is the lower portion of Royal Roads University and the rest are in the Esquimalt Lagoon area.

Security personnel at Royal Roads evacuated affected areas and closed the university’s lower parking lot.

Emergency crews completed door knocking campaigns in the Esquimalt Lagoon area before 4 a.m. Residents with nowhere to go were directed to a reception centre that was set up by the Colwood and View Royal joint emergency social services team at West Shore Parks and Recreation’s seniors centre.

Ocean Boulevard was closed for a period of time this morning.

Cassidy noted that during the sewage treatment studies, the Capital Regional District did examine the potential of a tsunami hitting the region.

“The CRD predicted we would not be affected unless it’s a very close earthquake.”

Given the distance of this earthquake he noted the possibility of a wave was highly unlikely. “[But] we decided to err on the side of caution.”

A 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck roughly 175 miles south east of Kodiak City, Alaska shortly after 1:30 a.m.

The National Tsunami Warning Center issued a warning for coastal B.C. from the Washington state/B.C. border to the Attu, Alaska.

RELATED: Tsunami warning issued for coastal British Columbia

Tsunami warnings, according to the centre, “mean that a tsunami with significant inundation is expected or occurring. Warnings indicate that widespread dangerous coastal flooding accompanied by powerful currents are possible and may continue for several hours after the initial wave arrival.”

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

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