A 7.5 magnitude Earthquake hit off the Alaska Panhandle and shook up Kitimat this morning, Saturday, January 5th. The event took place at 11:58 pm at the epicentre, 12:58 am in Kitimat. It was followed by several aftershocks starting at 12:27 am at the epicentre (1:27 Am in Kitimat).
A Tsunami Warning was called. We were informed several areas around the lower elevations of the Area B (The Kitimat / Prince Rupert coast) were evacuating / preparing for evacuation. As of 3:16 this morning, the Tsunami Warning was cancelled.
According to Fire Chief Trent Bossence, In Kitimat, it took the Emergency Workers, half an hour to get their Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) opened. While it was busy, Bossence told us it was not as busy as during the last Earthquake, probably because it was not close to home.
“The initial stages of EOC Centre are always busy, just guys coming in, trying to get information, all the information we can gather,” said Bossence.
The Fire Chief told us getting information out of the EOC went much smoother this time. The phones were still ringing from people wondering what was going on in the community, whether or not Kitimat was being evacuated.
They were in communications with the Fire Department at Kitamaat Village, as well as with Rio Tinto Alcan.
Further updates are going to be available at the District of Kitimat Website www.kitimat.ca
. We will post further inforation as it becomes available.