A tsunami consists of a series of unusually large waves formed by a large-scale disturbance of water bodies. One of the primary causes of tsunamis is an earthquake, but tsunamis may also be triggered by landslides, volcanoes or explosions.

Although tsunamis are rare, it is important to understand the impact of a tsunami in the capital region and what to do in the event of a tsunami warning.

The Capital Region Tsunami Information Portal and interactive map allows you to explore your area and better understand the tsunami hazard risk where you live, work and frequent, as well as mapping a safe route in the event of a tsunami warning. Find tips on how to use the portal in the Tsunami Information Portal User Guide (PDF).

How to Prepare 

  1. Know your risk
  2. Prepare an emergency kit
  3. Make an emergency plan

To learn more about tsunami risk and/or coastal flooding due to sea level rise and storm surge on our coast visit the Capital Region Tsunami Information Portal or contact your local emergency program.

Tsunami Safety: Prepare Yourself FAQ

What is a tsunami?

A tsunami is a natural hazard consisting of long, surge-like waves usually caused by an underwater earthquake, landslide or volcanic eruption that may last for hours. Since the largest wave may arrive much later than initial waves, it’s not safe to go back to coastal or low-lying areas until instructed.

Did you know the majority of the capital region's coastline is quite elevated with a limited risk of tsunami?

How do I know if I live, work or travel through a Tsunami Hazard Zone?

The Tsunami Information Map on the Prepare Yourself website is an online took that lets you enter any address in the capital region to see it if's located inside or outside of a Tsunami Hazard Zone.

What should I do if the address I entered is inside a Tsunami Hazard Zone?

Now is the time to plan your evacuation route in the event of a tsunami warning. This includes planning how you would get to an area outside the Tsunami Hazard Zone by foot or bicycle.

What should I do if there is an earthquake?

The majority of the capital region's coastline is quite elevated, so most people are safe from tsunami risk. If you feel an earthquake that makes it difficult to stand, remember to drop, cover and hold on.

Once the shaking stops, leave the Tsunami Hazard Zone. If you are located outside the Tsunami Hazard Zone, remain there and be prepared to assist family and friends in need of shelter.

Stay tuned to local media for further instructions.

How will the public be alerted of a potential tsunami after a distant earthquake?

The National Tsunami Warning Centre detects tsunami threats using seismometers, tide gauges and DART (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis) buoys. If an earthquake is large enough, this centre will issue a tsunami warning. Local governments and the media will share this information with the community.

What is the difference between an information statement, watch, advisory and warning?

  • Information statement: An earthquake has occurred and there is no threat of a destructive tsunami.
  • Watch: There is a potential threat to a zone, but communities have time to prepare.
  • Advisory: The threat of tsunami has the potential to produce strong currents dangerous to those on, in or near the water. Coastal zones may be at risk due to strong currents.
  • Warning: Imminent threat of a tsunami from a large undersea earthquake or a potentially destructive tsunami is underway. An evacuation of low-lying coastal areas may be required.

When should I evacuate?

If you feel a major earthquake and are in a Tsunami Hazard Zone, you should evacuate immediately after the shaking stops. There are other natural signs of an arriving tsunami: the ocean receding, a sudden rise or fall of ocean level, or hearing a roaring sound like a jet engine from the ocean.

It is not necessary to go to the highest point in the area. Go to any location outside of the Tsunami Hazard Zone.

How should I evacuate?

You should evacuate immediately on foot or by bike to an area outside the Tsunami Hazard Zone. Keep the roads clear for emergency responders.

Get to know where the Tsunami Hazard Zones are and plan your evacuation route by checking out the Tsunami Information Portal.

Practice your evacuation routes on foot or bike with your family members, friends or colleagues.

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