Tsunami advisories issued for parts of coastal British Columbia

The National Tsunami Warning Center says advisories cautioning of potential strong currents and waves are expected to be in place across much of coastal British Columbia for the next several hours.

The advisory issued this morning covers four zones in B.C. following a volcanic eruption in the Pacific Basin near the Tonga Islands.

Zone A covers the north coast including Haida Gwaii, while Zone B covers the central and northeast Vancouver Island coasts, which include Kitimat, Bella Coola and Port Hardy.

The advisory also applies to the outer west coast of Vancouver Island from Cape Scott to Port Renfrew, dubbed Zone C, as well as Zone D, which spans the Juan de Fuca Strait from Jordan River to Greater Victoria including the Saanich Peninsula.

The co-fire chief in the village of Massett, B.C. says two public alerts went out to residents shortly after the center issued its bulletins.

But Sylvan Daugert, who was also the public works superintendent in the village, says he is less concerned than he was initially after learning that wave heights in Alaska reached 35 centimetres or less.

The U.S. National Weather Service confirms that a tsunami has been generated by the eruption and issued warnings for several western coastal areas, including Alaska and B.C.

The National Tsunami Warning Center urged local governments in the province to activate their emergency plans and consider evacuating marinas, beaches or other areas that may be put at risk if waters rise.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2022.

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