Exercise Coastal Response is Western Canada’s first, full-scale earthquake and tsunami response exercise. It is a test of the BC Immediate Response Plan that outlines the steps that the province and its partners will undertake in the immediate aftermath of a massive earthquake. The goal is to exercise elements of the IRP and strengthen relationships among and across partners and stakeholders to enhance operational coordination.
From June 7-10, 2016, Exercise Coastal Response includes real-time and simulated activities involving functions such as emergency operations, logistics, medical care, public information, operational communications, and care for the needs of those affected or displaced.
The earthquake scenario is based on a magnitude 9.0 earthquake resulting from a rupture of the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the coast of southwestern B.C. with strong shaking lasting several minutes would occur in areas of Greater Vancouver, Greater Victoria and central Vancouver Island, causing some destruction in the major urban centres and widespread damage in the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District. The earthquake scenario would also generate a tsunami on the west coast of Vancouver Island minutes after the initial shock.
Some notes on the exercise:
**The information below has been created for Exercise Coastal Response and does not depict a real event. This is also not a simulation of what may happen in the event of an earthquake and tsunami, and it has not been validated by science as what may happen. The map has been created to help guide our emergency programs through this exercise.
Tuesday June 7
- 7:45am - 9.0 magnitude earthquake in the Pacific Northwest.
- 8:15am - First earthquake generated tsunami waves strike Tofino on west coast of Vancouver Island
- 8:30am - Waves head up the inlet and reach Port Alberni with a wave height of up to 20m
- 8:40am - Waves travel through Juan De Fuca Strait to Victoria and reach Sidney 10 minutes later
- 9:00am - Waves reach across the Strait of Georgia to Vancouver
- 9:40am - Waves wrap around the island and reach Nanaimo
This map gives an indication of the areas that may be most affected in the event of a 20m wave like the tsunami in the simulation. Full Port Alberni Inundation Map (PDF 9.05MB)
News releases related to the exercise:
- British Columbia’s first full-scale earthquake exercise complete - June 10, 2016
The overarching goal of Exercise Coastal Response was to enhance provincial emergency response capabilities to a catastrophic earthquake. Six functional areas were exercised: Operations, Mass Care, Medical, Strategic Communications and Public Information, Telecommunications, and Logistics. This was accomplished through the co-ordinated actions of several emergency organizations to resolve problems related to a catastrophic earthquake.
- Yamamoto tours B.C.’s earthquake exercise - June 9, 2016
Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness Naomi Yamamoto, toured “ground zero” in Port Alberni today to showcase Exercise Coastal Response, the Government of B.C.’s $1.2-million full-scale earthquake and tsunami response exercise which tests the BC Earthquake Immediate Response Plan and promotes interagency co-operation among both internal and external agencies that support emergency response.
- International delegates learn from British Columbia's earthquake exercise - June 8, 2016
Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness Naomi Yamamoto met with national and international delegates in the Provincial Emergency Coordination Centre (PECC) at Emergency Management BC’s headquarters in Victoria to showcase Exercise Coastal Response.
- Government collaboration during a natural disaster - June 7, 2016
During the same timeframe as B.C.’s Exercise Coastal Response, neighbouring states and the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 10 are conducting an exercise called Cascadia Rising 2016. The following is a Joint Communique distributed today between participating states and B.C.
- Volunteers help B.C. prepare for the worst - June 7, 2016
To make the on-site experiences of the participants as authentic as possible, volunteers will be onsite. These volunteer-actors include 160 staff and students from School District 70, while Vancouver’s SFX Studios will provide medical make-up for the actors.
- B.C. launches earthquake exercise with emergency alert - June 7, 2016
Emergency Management BC will launch an alert from the Provincial Emergency Notification System tomorrow morning. The alert will note that a fictional earthquake has occurred and that a simulated tsunami warning is in place for parts of coastal Vancouver Island.
- Emergency preparedness: Unsung heroes of natural disasters - June 6, 2016
In the midst of British Columbia’s first full-scale major earthquake and tsunami response exercise, Emergency Social Services (ESS) volunteers and the B.C. branch of the Salvation Army are getting the opportunity to experience what volunteering at “The Big One” might feel like.
- Earthquake and tsunami exercise in Port Alberni recalls shaky past - June 5, 2016
Five decades after the Port Alberni tsunami devastated local residences and businesses, the Province of British Columbia is hosting an exercise to test the BC Earthquake Immediate Response Plan and promote interagency co-operation among both internal and external agencies that support emergency response.
Factsheets on the exercise and emergency preparedness in B.C.:
- Earthquake 101
- Earthquake Damage and Aftershocks
- Magnitude Explained
- Mobile Medical Unit
- B.C. Earthquake Immediate Response Plan
- Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR)
- Emergency Social Services
- Coroners Service
- Salvation Army Food Truck
- Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs)
- OP-ED: Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness
- OP-ED: Becky Denlinger, Emergency Management, Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure
- Flickr: Photo Album (flickr.com)
- Twitter: @BCGovNews (twitter.com) , @PreparedBC (twitter.com) , @EmergencyInfoBC (twitter.com)
- Facebook: Government of British Columbia (facebook.com)
- Youtube: Province of BC - Emergency Preparedness Playlist (youtube.com)
- Exercise Coastal Response: Program information
- BC Earthquake Immediate Response Plan: http://ow.ly/4nrclv
- BC seismic accomplishments: Infographic (flic.kr)
- PreparedBC: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/preparedbc
- Basic emergency kit supplies: http://ow.ly/4nrcp3
Participants involved in the exercise:
- @TranBC (twitter.com) - BC Transportation and Infrastructure
- @DriveBC (twitter.com) - Road closure and weather info in BC
- @CanVOSTactual (twitter.com) - Canadian Volunteer Operations Support Team
- @FEMARegion10 (twitter.com) - FEMA Region 10
- @cityportalberni (twitter.com) - City of Port Alberni
- @ACRDgov (twitter.com) - Alberni Clayoquot Regional District
- @Safety_Canada (twitter.com) - Public Safety Canada (Fed Govt)
- @Tseshaht (twitter.com) - Tseshaht First Nation
- @HupacasathFN (twitter.com) - Hupacasath First Nation
- @CanadianForces (twitter.com) - Canadian Armed Forces
- @MARPAC (twitter.com) - Canada’s Navy, Army and Air Force in the Pacific
- @RedCrossBC (twitter.com) – Canadian Red Cross (BC)
- @SalArmyBC (twitter.com) – Salvation Army BC
- @BC_EHS (twitter.com) - BC Emergency Health Services: BC Ambulance Service & the BC Patient Transfer Network
- @BCHealthEM (twitter.com) - Health Emergency Management BC
- @MobileMedicalBC (twitter.com) – BC Mobile Medical Unit