Tsunami Hazard Zone sign in Prince Rupert. The city commissioned a contractor to study the possible effects a tsunami may have on the area. (File photo)

Tsunami Hazard Zone sign in Prince Rupert. The city commissioned a contractor to study the possible effects a tsunami may have on the area. (File photo)

City releases the Prince Rupert Tsunami Study results

City of Prince Rupert May 27 council briefs on emergency preparedness and the child care action plan

“So the question is, do you try and mitigate an event that probably won’t happen,” was the summarizing question posed by Graham Farsta, from Arlington Group, to the Prince Rupert City council.

Councillor Gurvinder Randhawa was the acting mayor at Monday night’s council meeting in place of Mayor Lee Brain who was absent. Randhawa and the rest of council heard a presentation on the draft of the tsunami study presented by Farsta and Phillipe St-Germain from NHC.

The study’s results are good news for residents who feared that heavy tidal waves would come crashing down at high velocity on the city in the event of a tsunami.

The Alaska subduction zone poses the biggest threat for Prince Rupert. St-Germain said his simulations were based on the data from the 1964 Great Alaskan earthquake, measuring a magnitude of 9.2 and causing 131 deaths.

He explained that in the event of a tsunami the town would have four to five hours to prepare before the first waves hit shore, if a similar sized event were to occur. Additionally, the wave would only add an extra metre to the sea level at the time.

“By the time its here, its just a ripple,” he said.

READ MORE: Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

Cow Bay, a handful of marinas, and the Digby Island Ferry Terminal, face some risk in the event that logs or other debris crash into the buildings, but for the most part they are low risk and well protected.

All residential areas and the city’s emergency facilities – City Hall, the Civic Centre, and Charles Hayes Secondary School – are not a risk said Farsta because they rest above and away from the shore.

The city’s major roads are built along the mainland, away from the flood zone. The CN Rail yard stands six metres above the sea level, a tsunami would only cause the water to rise an extra two meters, said Farsta.

The Cascadia subduction zone – spanning from the north end of California to north Vancouver Island — does not pose any serious threat to Prince Rupert because the waves will move away from the coast, and it will take up to four hours before the first set makes its way this far north, said St-Germain.

Emergency preparedness day

On Tuesday, May 28, the city is holding the High Ground Hike, an event in conjunction with Emergency Management BC, to raise awareness around local emergency evacuation routes, emergency stations, and general emergency preparedness in the city.

The event begins at 1:30 p.m. at Kwinitsa station and finishes at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre with an Emergency Preparedness Fair until 7:00 p.m.

READ MORE: Tsunami warnings 101: Canada

More from council

Council voted unanimously to select Watson Projects to complete the Child Care Assessment and Action Plan. The city received $24,700 in funding from UBCM, which they previously voted to direct toward a child care needs assessment “to inform future development of child care spaces for the growing port community.” Prince Rupert’s Official Community Plan had highlighted lack of affordable child care and availability of space as two major concerns from residential families.

The next council meeting is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on June 10. Meetings take place in the council chambers on the second floor at city hall.


Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
Jenna Cocullo 
Send Jenna email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Power outages affected thousands of BC Hydro customers in the north on Jan. 14 (File photo) (File photo)
Power outages affect thousands of BC Hydro customers in northern B.C.

Transmission failure led to outages in Prince Rupert and Port Edward

A Prince Rupert port expansion project received a $25 million investment from the provincial government, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced on Jan. 14. Seen here is Ridley Terminals Inc., a coal export terminal in Prince Rupert (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)
$25 million government investment in Prince Rupert port expansion project

Prince Rupert port expansion project expected to create more than 2,200 jobs

For the second time in less than a year, Air Canada announced on Jan. 13 it has suspended flights on the Prince Rupert-Vancouver route as of Jan 17. (Photo by: Jerold Leblanc)
Cessation of flights to YPR will affect the municipal economy and global trade, P.R. Mayor said

Chamber of Commerce said it will aggressively pursue the resumption of flights to Prince Rupert

Air Canada has suspended flights to Prince Rupert Regional Airport due to COVID-19 mitigation, the airline announced on Jan. 13. (Photo:THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
YPR is not immune to plummeted air travel demands – 25 jobs lost

Prince Rupert Regional Airport flight cancellation will levee significant hardship - Rick Leach

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Black Press media file
Port McNeill driver tells police he thought the pandemic meant no breathalyzers

Suspect facing criminal charges after breathalyzer readings in excess of 3.5 times the legal limit

Most Read