The CRD Completes “Modelling of Potential Tsunami Inundation Limits and Run-Up” Project for the Region

Apr 19, 2013

Victoria, BC- The CRD’s Local Government Emergency Program Advisory Commission (LG EPAC), has completed the “Modelling of Potential Tsunami Inundation Limits and Run-Up” for the Capital Region using scientific modelling acquired through AECOM, and Dr. K.F. Cheung from Applied Research International (ARILLC) in Hawaii. The results of this model will provide valuable information for the Capital Region in regards to potential tsunami risk, emergency planning and will allow an opportunity to educate residents and visitors on tsunami safety. The report and a map of the potential risk area are available at

“This is an important planning tool as we improve our emergency preparedness and coordination across the region,” said Planning and Protective Services Committee Chair, Barb Desjardins.

A tsunami is a series of long surge-like waves and is usually caused by an underwater earthquake, landslide, or volcanic eruption. The most dangerous tsunami threat in the Capital Region will follow a major earthquake in the Cascadia subduction zone (CSZ), located about 100 km off Vancouver Island. Such an earthquake (commonly called “The Big One”) will cause ground shaking lasting between one and four minutes and will result in significant damage throughout the region. Information on how to prepare for a major earthquake or for the risk of tsunami is available at, a regional source for emergency planning information.

This project has resulted in a hazard line that is based on a numerical model called NEOWAVE, which won the 2009 tsunami model challenge at Oregon State University. NeoWave is the official model for tsunami inundation mapping in Hawaii, American Samoa, the U.S. Gulf Coast states and Chile. In addition to meeting the National Tsunami Hazard Mapping Program (NTHMP) benchmarks, it has been validated with measurements from the 2009 Samoa tsunami, 2010 Chile tsunami, 2010 Mentawai tsunami and 2011 Tohoku tsunami with publications in many journals.

The new hazard line does not differ largely from the hazard lines created in 2004, but confirms the tsunami planning zones already in place. The best available data suggests that in most areas of the Capital Region, 4m or 13 feet above high tide is a safe elevation. The results of the model are intended to inform emergency planning and to help the public understand areas most likely safe from a tsunami.

To find out more about hazard areas, tsunami safety, and general emergency preparedness, go to or contact your local emergency program.

Emergency Preparedness Week this year is May 5 – 11, 2013.

The report will be discussed at the Planning, Transportation and Protective Services Committee meeting on April 24th at 1.30pm.

Additional Resources
Modelling of Potential Tsunami Inundation Limits and Run-Up Report
Report to the Planning, Transportation and Protective Services Committee
Tsunami Modelling Report FAQ 
Tsunami Hazard Line Map
Tsunami Education Presentation


For media inquiries, please contact:
Andy Orr, Senior Manager
CRD Corporate Communications
Tel: 250.360.3229
Cell: 250.216.5492