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Minister's statement on tsunami advisory

CANADA, January 15 - Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, has issued the following statement on the tsunami advisory:

“Last night, a volcanic eruption occurred underwater in the southern part of the Pacific Basin in the Tonga Islands. Due to this event, a tsunami advisory was issued for British Columbia by the National Tsunami Notification Centre. It is expected that this advisory will remain in place for several hours. 

“To be clear, this is an advisory only, and not tsunami warning. The risk is limited to increased tidal currents. Until the advisory is lifted, stay away from beaches, shorelines and marinas, and follow the directions of local governments. 

“Overnight, several communities along the coast activated their emergency plans. 

“Emergency Management BC immediately activated the Provincial Emergency Co-ordination Centre, and all provincial regional operations centres on the coast. The agency has also been supporting local governments and First Nations with updates and a series of co-ordination calls. 

“Two Pacific Emergency Notification System alerts have been issued to emergency managers and media to update on this event. 

“Local communities are communicating this information to residents as per their emergency protocols for an advisory of this type.

“Although this is not a tsunami warning, this event demonstrates that coast warning systems do work. 

“Please do NOT call 911 for information on the tsunami in B.C. Call 911 only when a life is at stake. It is important these lines remain free for those in immediate need. 

“In the event of a future tsunami warning, stay calm, stay safe, listen to your local officials and head to higher ground.” 

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For updates on this event, visit: Or follow on Twitter @emergencyinfobc