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North Island towns to receive tsunami warning sirens

Towns on northern Vancouver Island will receive their first tsunami warning sirens through a new grant.

The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) says they got $180,000 from the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Emergency Operation Centre (EOC).

Along with the warning sirens, the SRD says radio communications will be enhanced and backup power will be provided for the new systems.

The communities of Fair Harbour will get their first tsunami siren, according to the district. Secondary sirens will be installed in Zeballos, Tahsis and Walter’s Island for better coverage in those communities.

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Other projects that will be finished with the grant include:

  • Installing a Radio Over Internet Protocol (ROIP) to enhance communications between the Oclucje, Zeballos and Campbell River areas
  • Installing a high frequency (HF) radio antenna in Tahsis
  • Installing very high frequency (VHF) antennas in Sayward
  • Providing additional emergency operation centre mobile kits to the City of Campbell River
  • Installing a generator at Ehattesaht Chinehkint First Nation to provide backup power to their community buildings

SRD protective services coordinator Shaun Koopman says the grant and projects will help improve the safety of these communities.

“Tsunamis are one of the most destructive events triggered by Mother Nature, these extremely powerful tidal waves are capable of crushing everything found in their path,” said Koopman.

“This grant complements the achievements of our recent tsunami mapping initiative and helps us realize our consistent commitment to enhancing the safety of our west coast communities to this hazard.”

A full map of the project and other details can be found on the SRD website.

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