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Tsunami Response in Delta

Jan 26, 2018

Tsunamis are rare but serious events. While many areas of coastal British Columbia may be threatened in the event of a tsunami, scientific and technical experts generally agree that Delta and other Lower Mainland communities are at low risk for tsunamis generated in the Pacific Ocean. Additional risks may exist in the event of a near-shore earthquake; however, such earthquakes have been found to be extremely rare throughout history.  

On January 23, 2018, Lower Mainland officials received a tsunami notification for information only. This did not warrant a broadcast to the public. When an alert is necessary, the public will receive notifications via radio, television, social media, and Delta’s website. Staff will also mobilize to ensure that the public is notified. 

The federal government has a public emergency alerting system that can interrupt radio and television communication with emergency messaging. This system does not currently have the capacity to broadcast directly to cell phones; however, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission has mandated that all Canadian wireless service providers be capable of distributing public alerting messages to cellular devices by April 2018.  Once in place, the government will begin trialing the notification system with provincial authorities at Emergency Management British Columbia.

We encourage all Delta residents to establish an emergency plan for their families and assemble an emergency kit, complete with a battery-operated or hand-crank radio to receive radio messages from local and provincial authorities should tele-communications fail.  If residents are able to safely remain in their homes, they should, using the items in their kit to sustain themselves until regular utilities and services can resume operation.  

Pay attention to Delta's website for more information on the upcoming “Are You Ready?” emergency planning sessions hosted throughout the year by the City of Delta.  

Learn more about tsunamis and how they affect British Columbia

You can also find more general Emergency Preparedness information on the Emergency Management BC website, as well as Delta's Natural Hazard & Disaster page