Tsunami Preparedness

Although tsunamis are rare, it’s important to understand the impact of a tsunami on Victoria and what to do in the event of a tsunami warning.

Is Victoria at risk of a tsunami?

The City of Victoria is not at risk like coastal communities such as Tofino and Ucluelet, which are on the open water and have notification sirens. Victoria does not expect a large, fast ‘wave’ like we have seen in places like Thailand and Japan. What the tsunami modelling shows for the City of Victoria is a slow water level rise of approximately 1.5 to 3 metres. 

Local Tsunamis    

The main tsunami threat to Victoria is from a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake off the Pacific Coast of Vancouver Island. Tsunami modelling has been completed for our region for the most likely and highest impact scenario, which is a 9.0 magnitude Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake.

TIP: The shaking from an earthquake is your warning of a local tsunami.

Other signs of a tsunami may include the ocean receding, a sudden rise or fall in sea level, or a roaring sound coming from the ocean. To get alerts for tsunami and other possible hazards sign up for Vic-Alert.

The projected arrival for a local tsunami at Victoria’s harbour is 76 minutes, with a maximum water level of 2.5 metres (8.2 feet). This estimate is based on a 9.0 Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake.

For more information on how to prepare for, respond to, and recover from tsunamis, visit the PrepareYourself – Tsunami Risk page.

Tsunami Hazard Map

It’s important to know if you are located in a tsunami hazard zone so that you can move to a safe area in the event of a tsunami warning. To see if you live, work or play in a tsunami hazard zone, view the City of Victoria’s interactive Tsunami Hazard Map

Updated Regional Tsunami Modelling

In 2020, the Capital Region completed the Regional Coastal Flood Inundation Project to better understand the regional impacts from coastal storm flooding due to sea-level rise and tsunamis. You can view the Tsunami Modelling and Mapping Report here. Updated regional tsunami preparedness maps will be coming soon.