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UPDATED: Tsunami advisory lifted for North Coast

Advisory issued for Prince Rupert, Haida Gwaii, Kitimat and North Coast regions
A tsunami advisory map issued by the City of Prince Rupert on Jan. 15 shows waterfront areas that are at risk. (Photo: supplied)

UPDATED: 1 p.m.: The tsunami advisory has been lifted for Prince Rupert and areas.

UPDATED 10:00 a.m.:

The city of Prince Rupert has issued a warning to residents on Jan. 15, to stay away from the waterfront and beaches in the area after an early morning tsunami advisory was issued.

“Do NOT go to the shore to observe the tsunami, and do not return to the shoreline until you receive an update through [the emergency] channel,” the city stated in a press release.

“Please be advised there is a tsunami advisory in effect for waterfront areas of Prince Rupert … The public is advised to avoid waterfront areas until further notice. This is not an evacuation,” the statement read.

“Our Municipal Emergency Operations Centre staff are in contact with Provincial Emergency officials and will provide updates as they are available.”

“Where time and conditions permit, boat operators are advised to move your boat out to sea to a depth of at least 180 feet; if at sea avoid entering shallow water, harbours, marinas, bays, and inlets to avoid floating and submerged debris and strong currents.”


Residents of Prince Rupert were woken up just after 7 a.m. on Jan. 15 with phone calls and text messages alerting them to a tsunami advisory issued by Emergency Management BC (EMBC).

The public is advised to remain away from waterfront areas in Zone A -the North Coast and Haida Gwaii, and Zone B - Kitimat, Bella Coola, Port Hardy and the Central Coast, EMBC stated.

“There is a possibility of strong localized currents. No significant inundation is expected, but low-lying coastal areas and beaches may be at risk,” EMBC said.

A tsunami is a series of waves. The first wave may not be the largest.

People in coastal areas that are at risk are advised to stay away from the shoreline and heed instructions from local authorities.

EMDC requests for the public to please minimize phone use in affected areas.

While some fire and rescue departments along the coast took to Twitter, noting that no action was required at the time of the 5 a.m. advisory, The Northern View reached out for comment from Prince Rupert Fire Rescue who was not available at the time of publication.

The advisory, which is not at the warning stage, stems from a volcanic eruption that occurred near the south pacific island nation of Tonga, on Jan. 14. The underwater volcano spewed ash 20 km (12.4 ft) into the air. A smaller secondary eruption occurred on Jan. 15 (Saturday).

Tsunami waves have flooded the Tongan capital city of Nuku’alofa.

Tsunami advisories have been issued for British Columbia as well and the west coast of the United States from California to Alaska, for New Zealand’s North Island.

For further information go to the Emergency Management British Columbia website at or the National Tsunami Warning Center website at

READ MORE: North Coast under tsunami advisory after volcanic eruption in the Pacific

K-J Millar | Journalist
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