Tsunamis are rare, but dangerous. Possible causes include:

  • Sudden movements on the sea floor
  • Earthquakes
  • Underwater landslides
  • Land slumping into the ocean
  • Large volcanic eruptions
  • Meteorite impact in the ocean

Tsunamis and Saanich

Our greatest chance of a damaging tsunami will follow a major earthquake—in the range of magnitude 9.0—off the coast of Vancouver Island. Earthquakes are common in B.C. We record more than 1,200 earthquakes each year, and most are too small to feel.

  • Like earthquakes, tsunamis can happen any time or any day.
  • We can’t predict a tsunami before one is generated.
  • They usually arrive as a series of waves.
  • Each wave may arrive minutes apart.

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