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Tsunami warning sirens coming for coastal communities in Strathcona Regional District

Fair Harbour, Gold River getting first sirens, Zeballos, Tahsis and Walter’s Island getting second
Muchalat Inlet, near Gold River, British Columbia. Gold River will be receiving a new tsunami siren. (Wikimedia commons)

Tsunami warning sirens, better radio communications and more are coming to the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) thanks to a $180,000 grant from the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM).

The funding will also be going to ways to provide backup power to Emergency Operations Centres (EOCs) and mobile EOC kits, though the tsunami warning sirens are going to be the priority.

“Tsunamis are one of the most destructive events triggered by Mother Nature, these extremely powerful tidal waves are capable of crushing everything found in their path. This grant complements the achievements of our recent tsunami mapping initiative and helps us realize our consistent commitment to enhancing the safety of our west coast communities to this hazard,” said SRD Protective Services Coordinator Shaun Koopman. “Fair Harbour and the Gold River estuary areas will each receive their first tsunami siren. Secondary sirens will be installed in Zeballos, Tahsis and Walter’s Island to enhance the coverage of the primary siren already in those communities.”

The following projects will also be undertaken under this grant:

- Installing a Radio Over Internet Protocol (ROIP) to enhance communications between the Oclucje, Zeballos and Campbell River areas

- Installing a high frequency (HF) radio antenna in Tahsis

- Installing very high frequency (VHF) antennas in Sayward

- Providing additional emergency operation centre mobile kits to the City of Campbell River

- Installing a generator at Ehattesaht Chinehkint First Nation to provide backup power to their community buildings

“This regional grant was made possible through partnership between the SRD, five municipalities and three First Nations.” said SRD Chair Brad Unger. “Through engagement with staff and emergency program volunteers we were able to construct a proposal that best met the needs of all communities involved. I would like to thank everyone who provided their valuable input and local knowledge to guide us on our path to a successful application.”

The regional district has been undertaking tsunami planning. To see detailed maps of flood zones and other preparation measures see their website online.

RELATED: SRD wants input on tsunami planning

SRD to kick off second phase of Tsunami planning project

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