Update: Tsunami Advisory Cancelled along bC Coast

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A tsunami advisory that was issued for parts of the B.C. coast near the Southern Gulf Islands and Salt Spring Saturday morning has been cancelled.

The advisory was cancelled as of 2:48 p.m. Saturday, just over six hours hours after it was issued for several zones of the B.C. coast yet not for the Gulf Islands. The advisory warned people to stay away from the shoreline and stay tuned for emergency alerts, after a volcanic eruption near the Tonga Islands Friday night.

Emergency Info BC stated that Zone E, where the Gulf Islands are located, was not subject to the tsunami warning. The warning was in effect for zones A, B, C and D. Zone D borders the Gulf Islands, but does not include them as a BC Government map shows. The zone encompasses the Juan De Fuca Strait from Jordan River to Greater Victoria, including the Saanich Peninsula.

A tsunami warning is active for zones A, B, C and D. The Gulf Islands are on the border with Zone D, but are within Zone E which is not included in the advisory.

Despite not being included in the advisory, Salt Spring Island Emergency Program (SSIEP) issued a notice 8:15 a.m. Saturday informing of the tsunami advisory for the region. “Due to the advisory, there is a possibility of strong localized currents in harbours and coastal areas,” yet “no significant inundation or damaging waves are expected” SSIEP stated.

SSIEP stated people should not go near the water and if they are on or near the water to “move out of the water, off the beach and away from harbours, marinas, breakwaters, bays and inlets.”

People should stay away for the duration of the advisory until the “all clear” announcement has been made, SSIEP added, estimating that the advisory would likely be in place for five to six hours.

As it was an advisory only, SSIEP said it was not necessary to evacuate.

The advisory came after an underwater volcano eruption near the Tonga Islands Saturday at 8:27 p.m. PST, which generated a tsunami and forced people on Tongatapu to flee from their homes. It was the second eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano in two days.

SSIEP reminded people to sign up for the CRD’s emergency alert system online or by downloading the Alertable app or the Alertable skill for Amazon Alexa and Hey Google.

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