At the January 29 Regular Council meeting, Sooke Fire Chief Kenn Mount gave a verbal presentation on Sooke emergency system. On January 23 there was an earthquake in Alaska that triggered a tsunami alert all along the Pacific coast. (At 1:31:42 AM there was a 7.9 magnitude earthquake centred in the Pacific ocean 278km SE off Kodiak Alaska. At 2:10 AM a tsunami alert was issued all along the western coast of Canada.)
Mount noted there were several different notifications systems out there, including the CRD’s which is a subscriber based. He received an immediate alert through Emergency BC, which alerted all fire chief.
He did know about the earthquake, and he also knew that they had hours to respond. Immediately, Sooke activated level one and level two protocols for emergency centres. Four units were sent out on location. There were also a few panicking residents, as a result of a fire alarm being pulled in the Kaltasin area. There was also a car fire on Connie Road at that time.
The Sooke Emergency response crew knew a wave, if coming, would arrive in Tofino at 4:40. At that time, a more active response would be triggered. (The alert was called off at 4:35 am, as no significant wave had been detected).
Mount held the view that sirens would have created more havoc. The areas of concern with those that were below four meters, like Coopers Cove and Kaltasin. He said their decision to not mass evacuate people was the right decision. If there an evacuation were required, people need to know that Sooke Fire would have boots on the ground, and they would be knocking on doors as required.
There were concerns about the false information coming from uninformed people on social media. The Sooke Emergency response teams wants to get in front of that information.
Sooke is holding an Open House on February 20 at 7:30, at the Council Chambers, 2225 Otter Point Road. The public is encouraged to attend. Emergency Preparedness Open House – Feb 20th 7:30-8:30pm
Also from the January 29 2018 Regular Council Meeting
- Earthquake and tsunami emergency system update
- Having rallied for Sooke Rd improvements, this volunteer Economic Development Group turns attention to Tourism
- Sooke Legion initiates process to permit alcohol service to the public
- Green team proposes collaboration partnership with the District of Sooke
Present at this meeting were Mayor Maja Tait and Councillors Bev Berger, Rick Kasper and Kevin Pearson.
Absent were Councillors Brenda Parkinson, Ebony Logins, and Kerry Reay.
The full agenda is available here: Regular Council – 15 Jan 2018 – Minutes – Pdf