Tsunami: when the ocean roars
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Tsunamis in Canada

Click on a number on the map of Canada to learn more about that tsunami.

Tsunamis in Canada

Location: Outer coast of British Columbia
Date: 1700
Description: A tsunami was caused by an earthquake on the Cascadia subduction zone, off the coast B.C. It never made landfall.

Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Date: December 6, 1917
Description: The explosion of the Mont Blanc, a French munitions ship anchored outside Halifax harbour during World War One, caused a devastating tsunami. The wave generated by the Halifax Explosion was amplified by the narrowness of the harbour, reaching a height of over ten metres. The explosion and ensuing wave killed over 1900 people, injured 9000 others, and destroyed and damaged thousands of buildings.

Location: Burin Peninsula, Newfoundland
Date: November 18, 1929
Description: An offshore earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 triggered a submarine landslide. The resulting tsunami crashed into the South Coast of the Burin Peninsula, devastating the town of Lord’s Cove, drowning 27 people, and causing $2 million in damages

Location: Strait of Georgia, British Columbia
Date: June 23, 1946
Description: An earthquake on Vancouver Island caused a small tsunami in the northern part of the Strait of Georgia, but it never hit shore.

Location: West Coast Vancouver Island
Date: October 22, 1960
Description: A massive, magnitude 9.5 earthquake off the coast of Chile caused a 1.2 metre wave in Tofino which ran up along the coast of Vancouver Island. It inflicted widespread damage to log booms along the coast of the Queen Charlotte Islands and Vancouver Island. The same earthquake caused the infamous tsunamis that obliterated large parts of the Hawaiian town of Hilo.

Location: Kitimat Inlet, British Columbia
Date: April 27, 1975
Description: An undersea landslide caused a tsunami in the Kitimat Inlet of northern British Columbia’s Douglas Channel.

Location: Port Alberni, British Columbia
Date: March 27, 1964
Description: The strongest North American earthquake of the century, measuring 8.5 on the Richter scale, struck off Anchorage, Alaska, sending a tsunami travelling at over 700 kilometres an hour hurtling toward the BC coast. The 4.3 metre wave destroyed houses and flooded basements in Hot Springs Cove and Bamfield on the coast of Vancouver Island before travelling up Alberni Inlet and flooding Port Alberni. Luckily, no one was killed, but damages caused by the wave totalled over $8 million.