UPDATE- Tsunami advisory cancelled, Alberni ready but unscathed

The Provincial Emergency Program canceled the tsunami advisory for the north, central and west coasts' 22 hours after it was issued.

The tsunami advisory has been lifted.

The Provincial Emergency Program cancelled the advisory 22 hours after it was issued.

The alert went out after an earthquake measuring 8.9 on the Richter scale rocked the east coast of Japan late Thursday.

Locally, planning for the tsunami’s arrival started at 12 a .m.

The Emergency Operations Centre opened at the Port Alberni Fire Hall, ACRD emergency planning coordinator Laurie L’Heureux said.

EOC officials liaised with provincial emergency agencies, gathered information and planned for a tsunami event.

They were later joined by officials from the ACRD, RCMP and city.

School District 70 was notified and schools were subsequently closed for the day.

Local water level stakeholders such as Coulsons, APD, Somass Division and Port Authority were alerted.

And representatives from the Hupacasath and Tseshaht first nations’ were alerted as well.

The advisory wasn’t upgraded to a warning, but it was better to be ready, fire chief Tim Pley said.

“It’s better to do the legwork and be prepared than to wait for it to happen and then react,” Pley said.

Elsewhere, emergency officials evacuated parts of Tofino and Port Renfrew.

Haida Gwaii was expected to be the first point of impact in B.C. for the tsunami, but the heightened alert was lifted by mid-morning.

Some tsunami activity in the Barkley Sound and Alberni canal was reported but tidal conditions made it indiscernible.

“There was some unusual wave action, but the tide was low so it wasn’t as apparent as it would be if it was high,” L’Heureux said.

Some people reported seeing a wave as high as a metre-and-a-half, she added.

According to the Honolulu Star Advertiser, the tsunami generated by the earthquake in Japan measured 22 feet (seven metres) in height.

The wave started rolling toward Japan from the quake’s epicenter 125 kilometres off the coast.

It struck shore 10 minutes later and traveled more than nine kilometers inland.

According to Japan’s National Police Agency 337 people are dead, 627 are injured, 531 are missing, the numbers are expected to climb.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

*Tsunami produces water changes in Port Alberni. Read about it here.