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B.C. tsunami warning came 39 minutes after U.S. alert

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B.C. tsunami warning came 39 minutes after U.S. alert

Postby coffeeFreak » Oct 29th, 2012, 5:13 pm

Wow...we can all be grateful that there was no tsunami.

B.C. tsunami warning came 39 minutes after U.S. alert

Questions are being raised about the B.C. government's response to the weekend earthquake off the northwest coast after officials took more than half an hour to issue a tsunami warning.

The 7.7 magnitude quake struck at 8:04 p.m. PT Saturday, eventually triggering tsunami alerts and advisories along the West Coast of Canada and the U.S. and as far away as Hawaii.

Officials with the West Coast Alaska Tsunami Warning Centre have confirmed emergency officials in B.C. were on a West Coast conference call three minutes after the quake.

U.S. officials sent out their first tsunami bulletin immediately after the quake at 8:13 p.m. and then upgraded it to a tsunami warning for parts of the West Coast including B.C. three minutes later.

But emergency officials in B.C. did not issue any sort of tsunami alert or advisory for another 39 minutes, leaving many civic leaders in B.C. wondering what they were supposed to do.

Emergency Information B.C. issued its first tsunami warning on Twitter at 8:55 p.m. — long after the news stations had already begun reporting on the earthquake and local civic leaders had begun evacuations based on the U.S. alerts.

Chris Duffy, the executive director of operations with Emergency Management B.C., defends the response, saying the public alert is just one element of communications, adding that RCMP and community officials were alerted within minutes.

"Focusing on one element of a continuum of communications and saying this one or that one was slow today is not seeing the bigger picture," Duffy said.

"The real question here is: 'Were people aware of the potential threat, did they take appropriate actions?' How you were notified is not as important as were you notified."

Duffy says the organization is reviewing all aspects of its response to determine what it can do better in future.

While there were no reports of large waves, injuries or major damage in the end, some local officials, including Tofino Mayor Perry Schmunk, say the flow of information was too slow, prompting them to put their own plans into action while they waited for clarity from emergency officials in B.C.

"Not pointing the finger at anybody, but we decided to err on the side of caution and we instigated our response," Schmunk told CBC News.

"As it evolved and as it looked like it was of no issue, we’re happy to report that it was a good test of our systems and a test of how the community responded to the systems."

In Prince Rupert, about 220 kilometres from the epicentre, some people complained they heard no emergency messages to seek higher ground.

In the village of Tlell, on Haida Gwaii, Dutes Dutheil said he and his neighbours did not get enough information about what was happening.

"We still have no news, other than turning on the TV or radio — but if there's no power?" he said.

"There has to be some better way of communicating to people if there's an emergency and they have to evacuate," said Dutheil.

Guy Urban, a seismologist at the West Coast Alaska Tsunami Warning Centre, confirmed B.C.'s Provincial Emergency Program officials were already aware of the U.S. tsunami warning by the time a regional conference call ended at 8:17 p.m.

"PEP was part of that conference call ...They think if there was a problem, someone in their fan-out list didn't get the message," said Urban.

But Kelli Kryzanowski, the province's manager of strategic initiatives for Emergency Management B.C., said she was pleased with the way local governments and individuals reacted to the quake and the tsunami threat.

The agency activated nine operations centres and sent out thousands of voice calls, emails, and faxes to first responders, she said.

Kryzanowski said as soon as local officials learn of an earthquake on the West Coast, they should start their own emergency procedures without waiting for provincial alerts. Read more...

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/slow-b-c-tsunami-warnings-raise-questions-143121819.html
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Re: B.C. tsunami warning came 39 minutes after U.S. alert

Postby keith1612 » Oct 29th, 2012, 7:24 pm

i would say a few govt employees that should be retired or is that fired.
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Re: B.C. tsunami warning came 39 minutes after U.S. alert

Postby motorhomebabe » Oct 29th, 2012, 8:18 pm

Not excusing the government , But as I read on another thread, If the Ground starts shaking and you live near water ,you should just naturally head for higher ground.If you have to wait for an anouncement,you are in trouble.
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Re: B.C. tsunami warning came 39 minutes after U.S. alert

Postby keith1612 » Oct 29th, 2012, 8:25 pm

motorhomebabe wrote:Not excusing the government , But as I read on another thread, If the Ground starts shaking and you live near water ,you should just naturally head for higher ground.If you have to wait for an anouncement,you are in trouble.

yes but the problem here is the ground was shaking too far away to feel.
the USA put out warnings in Hawaii.
why not err on the side of caution in the case of a earthquake?
why pay guys to watch for tsunami's if they feel we have no time to run anyway?
at least look like you are earning your wage!!
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Re: B.C. tsunami warning came 39 minutes after U.S. alert

Postby Jeckle » Oct 29th, 2012, 9:31 pm

motorhomebabe wrote:Not excusing the government , But as I read on another thread, If the Ground starts shaking and you live near water ,you should just naturally head for higher ground.If you have to wait for an anouncement,you are in trouble.

I live in Port Alberni. We never felt the shake, but are in tsunami zone should one hit the west coast. We need to know immediately when one hits to the North of us. It was an Alaska quake that caused our tsunami in '64.
You won't necessarily feel the shake and know you are in danger.
I am NOT impressed by the lack of info following this earthquake.
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