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A new study raises tsunami concerns in Washington. But could waves reach B.C.? – BC


A study published by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources states that if a large earthquake occurs along the Seattle Error, tsunami could reach the Greater Seattle area in minutes.

University of Victoria associate professor of earth and ocean sciences, Lucinda Leornard, gave her opinion on what BC would experience if a major earthquake hit the Seattle Fault.

“Thankfully, we’re pretty far from the Seattle Fault. We predicted the tsunami would be a lot smaller by the time it reached the coast in BC, certainly less than a meter in height,” Leornard said.

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The associate professor said that while we most likely won’t see major tsunamis, there will still be impacts on the BC coast.

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Leornard told Global BC on Saturday morning: “(There could be) some dangerous currents from this type of tsunami and even tsunamis as small as half a meter can cause damage to the harbours.

While an incident like this is certainly something to be aware of, Leornard said the Seattle Fault does not pose a significant threat to British Columbia. However, it is part of an important fault line network located much closer to the province.

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“We can’t think we’re in the clear with the Seattle Fault in the distance,” Leornard said.

“The Seattle fault is one of an entire network of shallow faults, many of which are much closer to our population centers.”

She continued, “We believe these major faults near Victoria and Vancouver could generate tsunamis.”

The university associate professor said it was very important for residents living near the BC coast to be aware of the hazards and have an emergency plan in the event of a disaster.


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© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.





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