A scary moment for people in Tofino.
“I literally just walked into a meeting and said, hey what’s going on, the emergency sirens are going off at the beach.”
Tofino Mayor Josie Osborne says officials were reacting to an email sent by Emergency Management BC saying there was Earthquake and a tsunami warning was in place.
Sirens went off at Cox Bay and North Chesterman’s Beach as people were being evacuated.
“The beaches were evacuated and I haven’t confirmed this, how many people, but I think a number of people made their way into town toward the emergency evacuation centre as well as people at the resort”.
The problem? EMBC failed to write “TEST” on the email.
“Blood was pumping for sure, so I’m sure that it did give everyone a quick jolt.”
Osborne says it didn’t take too long to figure it out.
“Quickly we all learned that it’s ok.”
Emergency Management BC says the error was because of maintenance work and released the following statement:
“A false alert was triggered while work was being undertaken on the BC Emergency Response Management System that warns of potential tsunami. The alert had placeholders for important information and was recognized by many as a template lacking critical information, like location. EMBC apologizes for the error and immediately and publically responded that no tsunami warning is in effect. While the launch of the notification system was unintentional, unlike many tests of the system that are routinely issued, the response of the recipients was encouraging. The system that was upgraded last year to hasten notification of emergency managers in coastal BC and is working efficiently and effectively.”
Below is the original bulletin: