FLORENCE, Ore. — The National Weather Service (NWS) said the earthquake that rattled off the western coast of Canada will not generate a tsunami. Saturday night, there were some threats to British Columbia, Alaska and Hawaii and even an advisory for parts of the Oregon Coast.
The Oregon Coast is now in the clear, but Saturday night’s tsunami advisory did have some folks worried. The wind blew and rain fell all morning in Florence, but the waters nearby remained relatively calm, as did many residents, most of whom had no idea a tsunami advisory had been issued for the area at all. Though there were some people who were very aware and concerned when the news broke.
“It was shortly after the World Series last night and we just heard a very brief news blurb about an earthquake somewhere in Canada,” said resident David Swinney.
The NWS said that earthquake could have affected areas more than a thousand miles away, including the Hawaiian Islands, where waves rolled through just a few hours after the initial quake.
Familiar to tsunami drills and sirens, residents we spoke to wondered why they hadn’t heard much information. The fire marshal explained that a warning means an area is likely to be hit by a wave, while an advisory means there may be strong currents, but widespread inundation or flooding isn’t expected to happen.
“The reason why we don’t make a huge issue out of an advisory is because we don’t want to get people scared or cause panic or even falsely do something where the next time we ask them to do something they won’t do it,” said Sean Barrett, Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue Fire Marshall.
Barrett said dispatch had been flooded with worried callers, but residents should rest assured they’d be amply notified if needed.
“You just need to understand that there are so many different variations out there and we are on top of it here,” Barrett said.
Oregon’s advisory was lifted late Saturday night. To find out the status of potential tsunamis in your area, you can check out the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center website.