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Emergency coordinators preach preparedness following Tsunami warning

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POWELL RIVER, B.C.- The Regional District wants residents to know that during Tuesday morning’s tsunami warning in BC, the city of Powell River was not actually at risk.

“All British Columbia coastal residents should understand that the BC coast is divided into five tsunami warning zones,” said Ryan Thoms, Manager of Emergency Services with the Powell River Regional District.

“The Powell River area, as with essentially all of the relatively protected waters of the Salish Sea, including both sides of the sea, side of Vancouver Island and down the Sunshine Coast, is a part of Tsunami Notification Zone E.”

He explained that generally, in Zone E, they do have a tsunami risk from local earthquakes, but quakes that are more distant, like this morning’s off of Alaska, generally do not affect the region.

“People should be wary of local earthquakes and the potential for local tsunamis,” Thoms said.

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He noted that although disaster was averted this morning, it’s important to always be prepared.

“When we do feel an earthquake locally, people should always be prepared, they should have practiced to drop, cover and hold on and ride out an earthquake in a safe position, under a desk or somewhere protected and not try to just flee a building and hurt themselves falling down,” he said.

“If you live near the Coast, anywhere within the first few metres of the sea shore or even on one of our larger lakes, once the shaking stops, you should leave the area because there can be local tsunamis.”

Thoms said a good catchphrase to remember is, “if you feel an earthquake and it’s long and strong, you should get gone.”

He maintained that there is generally no risk in the Powell River area from distant tsunamis.

He said it’s important to work with your family and community to come up with an emergency plan, and practice that plan.

Further information on emergency preparedness can be found through the Regional District’s website.

More details about Tsunami Notification Zones can be found through this link.

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