Tsunami studies: Destructive wave could hit west Vancouver Island in under half hour
New models of the speed and magnitude of a tsunami in the event of a major earthquake show coastal communities on northwest Vancouver Island could be inundated in less than half an hour, while the coastal portion of Metro Vancouver could see a huge wave an hour or two after the quake.
Ocean Networks Canada has been developing an assessment framework for the risk of tsunamis across the B.C. coast from quakes in the northern Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone or the Cascadia zone off the west coast of Vancouver Island — including such data as when the wave would arrive and the extent of flooding.
“Knowing where coastal vulnerabilities lie and the predicted areas at risk strengthens hazard awareness, allowing decision-makers and communities to mitigate, prepare, respond and recover from emergencies,” said study co-author Soroush Kouhi.
Incorporating modelling, historical records and using local Indigenous knowledge, the studies aim to support emergency planning for communities along the B.C. coast by helping predict how quickly evacuations would be required in the hardest-hit areas and the extent of flooding damage.
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