An undersea volcano off Tonga prompted emergency agencies to issue a tsunami advisory for Vancouver Island and much of the British Columbia coast on Saturday morning, quashing it early in the year. afternoon after the threat passed.
The advisory was lifted shortly after 2:30 p.m. Saturday by Emergency Management BC. The District of Tofino urged citizens to continue to be cautious around water and on beaches.
In Tofino, surfer Devin Baldwin stayed down rather than taking risks. He is normally out on the water every day if conditions allow. He plans to surf on Sunday now that the advisory has been lifted.
Along with other residents who signed up for Tofino’s emergency notification system, he was alerted in the morning to the risk of swells or dangerous currents.
Beaches were closed in Tofino and people were told not to go near waterways. No evacuation orders have been issued in British Columbia
Live video from Pacific Sands Beach Resort showed people at the beach on Saturday morning.
Port Alberni also warned people to stay away from shore, ports and marinas.
Baldwin suspects the distant eruption impacted beaches in the Tofino area.
He said it was strange to see that the low tide at 8.50am was higher than it normally would be.
It was also unusual that many large logs, weighing hundreds of pounds, were pushed onto the beach by a high tide, Baldwin said. A steady tide at this time of year would generally not move the logs as much, he said. “They would just stay there.”
Baldwin works at the front desk of Bella Pacifica Campground in Tofino, which is currently closed due to the season.
He didn’t see any surfers on the water Saturday but said there were two paddleboarders quite far from shore.
In Victoria, Dallas Road was quiet Saturday morning. A Victoria Police SUV visited Clover Point for a short time and joggers and dog walkers were on the trails and the sea was calm.
According to the U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center as of 11:15 a.m., water levels rose 16cm at Tofino, 18cm at Bamfield and 29cm at Winter Harbor on the northwest coast of the island. of Vancouver.
Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, said in a statement Saturday morning that the advisory was expected to last several hours.
“The risk is limited to increased tidal currents.” But until the advisory is lifted, people have been urged to stay away from beaches, shores and marinas and follow local government instructions.
The underwater eruption prompted several communities to activate emergency plans.
“Emergency Management BC immediately activated the provincial emergency coordination center and all provincial regional operations centers on the coast. The agency also supported local governments and First Nations with updates and a series of coordination calls,” said Farnworth.
“Two Pacific Emergency Notification System alerts have been sent to emergency officials and the media to provide an update on this event.
“Local communities are communicating this information to residents in accordance with their emergency protocols for such notice.
The advisory covered the west coast and northeast of the island, the central coast, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Haida Gwaii.