Lessons to learn following quake

The Kitimat Fire Department and the Kitimat Emergency Program are in general happy with the way the earthquake and tsunami was handled.

The Kitimat Fire Department and the Kitimat Emergency Program are in general happy with the way the Oct. 27 earthquake and tsunami warning was handled, but communication with the public will definitely be a priority as they learn from the event.

Fire Chief Trent Bossence said that an Emergency Operations Centre was immediately established at the fire hall, together with emergency coordinator Bob McLeod, as well as representatives from local industries such as Bechtel and Rio Tinto Alcan.

Phone lines were down for the fire department for approximately half an hour after the earthquake but cell phones still worked allowing the members to be in touch with each other.

Bossence said that, as with many others in the province, information was slow coming from Emergency Management BC, but that they don’t rely entirely on that group to give them information, turning as well to other main sources such as the West Coast And Alaska Tsunami Centre.

“There’s multiple sources we can get information from,” he said.

From information updates through their various channels they were confident that Kitimat had a low-risk of damage, save for areas below tide lines, namely marinas, so people at MK Bay Marina, for instance, were advised to get off their boats.

A lot of information we being shared among emergency responders in various communities. Bossence said he was quickly calling Prince Rupert’s fire chief for information.

Of course all their work didn’t do much to stem the tide of misinformation being transmitted through social media.

“There was a lot of information and misinformation being sent out on social media. It’s unfortunate but it’s also a reality,” said Bossence.

Communication is one of the largest takeaways from the event, and how to recognize the impact of social media.

“I totally understand the frustration of our community and not knowing what’s going on,” he said.

As for the possibility of evacuations, Bossence said the tried-and-true way is to just knock on doors, and driving down streets with megaphones alerting people to the danger.

While social media can be a way to spread information, he said in an evacuation setting it would be challenging as it would take away control.

As for some of the takeaways from this, he said earthquake risks are proven real and it’s important to keep yourself ready.

Just Posted

Outside the Kitimat RCMP police station, Diversity Morgan’s family and Kitimat RCMP come together for a pride flag-raising ceremony. (Jacob Lubberts photo)
Kitimat RCMP host pride flag ceremony in memory of Diversity Morgan

“We’re gathered here in solidarity for anyone who’s ever experienced prejudice or discrimination”

(Haisla First Nation logo)
Haisla Nation host walk for strength and series of virtual sessions for Indigenous History Month

The purpose of the walk is to bring Haisla Nation members together and show their collective support

The District of Kitimat will be awarding business owners with a store front up to $5,000 to cover up to 50 per cent of exterior renovations. (Norhtern Development logo)
The District of Kitimat is awarding $5,000 to storefront owners for exterior renovations

The district has set aside $20,000 this year and non-profits are also eligible

Ron getting loose and sipping a glass of the family’s favourite greek amber spirit, Metaxa. (Photo supplied)
In Our Valley: Ron Lechner

Retired part-time singer and Rio Tinto lifer: Ron Lechner

Map of the road work that will be completed this summer. The streets highlighted in red are what the district planned on completing before additional funding, and the streets highlighted in orange is the road works that will be done with the additional funding. (District of Kitimat photo)
$1.1 million allocated for road work this year in Kitimat

Kitimat council has added $470,000 for more work by deferring four other projects.

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read