Campbell River – October 28, 2012 – At 8:04 pm on Saturday October 27th a magnitude 7.7 earthquake occurred deep in the Pacific Ocean near the Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) region of British Columbia.
The West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center immediately issued a tsunami warning for North America’s Pacific Northwest.
The epicenter of the earthquake was about 200 kilometres from Marine Harvest Canada’s (MHC) nearest salmon farm. Ground tremors were reported from coastal and inland areas as far south as Vancouver Island.
Although small changes in sea levels were measured at some locations (<30 centimetres), these levels or associated wave action did not negatively affect MHC’s ocean-based farms.
None of MHC’s operations experienced any damage as a result of the earthquake or tsunami and no staff were injured.
As a precautionary measure, staff in the Klemtu, Quatsino, Port Hardy and Port McNeill operating areas were evacuated from MHC salmon farms to seek higher ground according to MHC’s detailed Tsunami Response Procedure.
“Our area production managers were all contacted within 30 minutes of the tsunami warning to discuss evacuation procedures at sites and all staff were proactive in dealing with the situation,” says James Rogers, MHC Tsunami Response Team Member. “After closely inspecting our facilities the next morning, we can happily report that all our staff, fish and equipment are safe and unharmed.”
MHC is British Columbia’s leading salmon farming company with hatchery, farming and processing facilities located on and around Vancouver Island and Klemtu, British Columbia.