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Scientists Warn: A Devastating, Deadly Tsunami Will Hit BC; Are We Ready?

Tsunami

Scientists have warned British Columbians about it for decades; however, many view the occurrence as a far-fetched exaggeration or even an impossibility.

With that aside, the threat of “the big one” – an incredibly powerful earthquake followed by a mammoth, deadly tsunami – is not empty. And, while knowing exactly when it will hit is impossible, being prepared is not.

Sadly, many scientists believe that British Columbians won’t be ready for the impact when it inevitably hits. In particular, areas such as Vancouver Island, will have very little time after the initial earthquake to flee from the tsunami.

The recent earthquake in Alaska gave BC a minor taste of what it may feel like in the event of such an emergency. In particular, Vancouver Island was on high alert – areas such as Tofino and Ucluelet were anxiously watching the approaching tsunami. Thankfully, the waves were negligible by the time they reached the shore.

In contrast, when the “big one” hits, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake will precede a tsunami with waves up to 20 meters high. Moreover, thousands, if not millions, of people will die.

The below footage is from 1700, and depicts a tsunami that is similar to the one that BC is overdue for.

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Tsunami Preparedness

The Government of British Columbia advises residents to be prepared for tsunamis. Earthquakes are often a precursor to them. If you feel strong shaking, drop, cover and hold on. Then move to higher ground or, in some communities, a pre-identified safe area.

These waves can last several hours, so stay there until you receive the “All Clear” message from your local government before assuming the event is over. Never go to the beach to watch the waves. A tsunami can move faster than you can run

If you live in coastal British Columbia, know your tsunami notification zone , then get prepared to manage on your own for a minimum of 72 hours. Start by developing a household plan, putting together your emergency kit and connecting with your neighbours.

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