Friday, February 2, 2018

Tsunami 101 with MLA Rice

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice
has been busy over the last ten days
with a range of Tsunami notes

for residents of the North and 
Central Coast and Haida Gwaii
In the days that have followed the January 23rd Kodak, Alaska earthquake and Tsunami Alert for Coastal British Columbia, North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice, in her position of Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Response has been keeping the event current with a stream of information pieces for British Columbians.

Mostly through her social media portals of Facebook and Twitter, the MLA has provided a range of material for review and in one instance what she describes as a correction of the record, by way of a letter to the editor for the weekly newspaper in Prince Rupert, which had  published this editorial shortly following the event.

In her rebuttal to the paper's criticisms, Ms. Rice offered up a few thoughts related to events in Prince Rupert in the early morning hours of January 23rd.

With respect to the January 23 earthquake that occurred just off the coast of Kodiak, Alaska, a number of coastal communities chose to evacuate, while others decided to monitor the situation as it unfolded using the information available to them.

So as far as Prince Rupert is concerned, a number of outlying islands shield most of the city from the worst of a major tsunami. The main risk is flooding along low-level neighborhoods and the waterfront. The city of Prince Rupert prioritizes these areas for evacuation in the event of a tsunami-related flood risk. At the time of the event the city knew it was coincidentally low tide, which further meant a lower level of risk to the waterfront and low-lying areas from flooding.

The remainder of her notes for Mr. Hamilton and his team at the Northern View outlined the importance of emergency preparedness for just such a situation as that of last month.

You can review her letter to the editorial page submission here.

To this point, while her letter to the newspaper has been published in the print edition delivered this week, so far it has not been posted to the Northern View website's letters section.

She was not alone in taking the paper to task for their editorial, with Councillor Joy Thorkelson drawing attention to the topic at Monday's Prince Rupert City Council Session.

As for the remainder of our homework on Tsunami preparations, Ms. Rice features a couple of notes on her Facebook page.

One an essay of sorts from January 31st, that first recounts the Haida Gwaii earthquake of 2012 and the response to events at that time in Prince Rupert, the item them morphs into a review of January 23rd's Kodiak quake and coastal tsunami alert.

In addition to the look at past events, Ms. Rice makes note of one project set to debut in April that could help provide for delivering public safety information, through the Alert Ready system.

As of April of this year, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission will mandate that all wireless providers must be able to relay public safety notifications from alerting authorities to Canadians via the Alert Ready system. 

This means that anyone with an LTE phone that is within range of an LTE cell tower will be able receive Alert Ready messages. Tsunami alerts are among the many early messages that can be transmitted through the new system. 

It will take time to work out the bugs, but this new regulatory requirement will go a long way towards ensuring public safety by expanding the reach of regional alerting systems.

Her other Tsunami related item is a video that highlights how British Columbians can make use of the January seismic event as a learning experience to determine what went well and what needs more work, as well as what steps we can take at home to be prepared.

You can review some of our notes following the January 23rd seismic event below:

Overnight 7.9 magnitude quake in Gulf of Alaska briefly put Coastal BA under Tsunami alert
Tuesday morning Tsunami Warning may spur on calls for better public alert system for Prince Rupert
After Tuesday's Alaska quake: Seismic aftershocks continue tin Kodiak, while political aftershocks continue to rumble across the North Coast

For more items of note from the Legislature see our archive page here.

A review of some of the seismic activity along the North Coast, Coastal British Columbia and Southeast Alaska can be found from our archive here.

A wider overview of events in Victoria can be reviewed from our political blog D'Arcy McGee.

To view the most recent blog posting of the day, click here.

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