Crowds of Greater Victoria residents gathered on top of Mt. Tolmie early Tuesday morning after a tsunami warning was issued for coastal areas of B.C. (Spencer Pickles/Black Press)

Tsunami warning an ‘exercise in precaution’

Warning for Greater Victoria called off shortly before 5 a.m. Tuesday

When Mayor Carol Hamilton was woken early Tuesday morning by a phone call from the City of Colwood’s emergency co-ordinator, she knew something was wrong.

It’s not often she gets a call from the co-ordinator or runs tsunami drills at 3 a.m. That’s when Hamilton was notified of a 7.9 magnitude earthquake off the Alaskan coast that took place at around 1:30 a.m., and a tsunami warning had been issued for coastal areas of B.C.

Emergency Management B.C. forecasted that tsunami activity could arrive in Greater Victoria at approximately 5:30 a.m.

“That’s significant. Right away, I jumped on to the social media feed to check and see what was coming up,” Hamilton said.

RELATED: Tsunami warning ended for Greater Victoria

On the West Shore, 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.

The warning triggered the evacuation of residents in roughly 25 to 30 homes in the Esquimalt Lagoon area. Emergency crews, along with the West Shore RCMP, went door-to-door at around 3 a.m., asking residents to evacuate.

Those 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 the West Shore Parks and Recreation’s seniors centre.

Shortly before 5 a.m. the tsunami warning was called off.

While a tsunami never materialized, Hamilton said Colwood was well prepared for the event.

“We got to run through a bit of an exercise in precaution, which thankfully turned out to be not needed to the extent we were ready to roll,” she said, adding “we have an excellent emergency preparedness group.”

View Royal Fire Rescue was also on high alert. The department advised roughly 60 homes in low lying areas of View Royal and Esquimalt Nation to evacuate as part of the Town’s emergency plan and based on the information received during the warning.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

kendra.wong@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

VicPD catches impaired driver near elementary school

Citizens alerted police to driver near James Bay Community School

Victoria’s Belfry Theatre hosts its first ‘relaxed performance’ for a diverse audience

Performance of Every Brilliant Thing is first to pilot the option

Car crash at Quadra and Finalyson Streets affects Saturday traffic

VicPD and the Victoria Fire Department responded

VIDEO: B.C. couple creates three-storey ‘doggie mansion’ for their five pups

Group of seven, who Kylee Ryan has dubbed as the ‘wandering paws,’ have a neat setup in Jade City

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

B.C. wildlife experts urge hunters to switch ammo to stop lead poisoning in birds

OWL, in Delta, is currently treating two eagles for lead poisoning

Most Read