A Tsunami is a natural hazard which consists of a series of long, strong waves caused by underwater earthquakes, coastal and underwater landslides during which a large volume of ocean water is rapidly displaced. Tsunami waves differ in size and occur in series that can be separated by up to an hour or longer up to twelve hours.

Squamish is located in Tsunami Notification Zone E and is identified as low risk for tsunami with estimated wave height of less than 2 metres above normal sea levels.

tsunami zone e final2

The Squamish Emergency Program and Emergency Management British Columbia (EMBC) monitor sources that notify of distant tsunamis and issue the following types of alerts as needed:

  • Warning: Highest level of tsunami alert; a tsunami threat is imminent;
  • Advisory: Second highest level of tsunami alert; tsunami threat to those in or near the water;
  • Watch: Third highest level of tsunami alert; a potential threat that may be cancelled or upgraded to a Warning or Advisory.

What to do:

  • If you feel a major earthquake and you are near a shoreline, you should Drop, Cover and Hold On, then evacuate immediately after the shaking stops
  • Head inland or to higher ground immediately (10 metres above sea level is optimal)

Be Prepared

Subscribe to the SquamishAlert emergency notification system for important emergency information by phone, email and text.

Download the Prepared BC Earthquake and Tsunami Smart Manual to learn more about what happens during an after a tsunami incident.


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