Province changes tsunami alerts

The powerful earthquake that rocked British Columbia's coast two weeks ago has shaken up the way the provincial government is issuing its tsunami alerts.

The changes follow criticism that the government took too long to send alerts when an earthquake rocked the Haida Gwaii islands on the north coast.

Under the new system, when Emergency Management BC gets an alert from the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Centre, the government will forward the alert immediately to all local authorities, first responders and the media.

After the emails are sent, the Crown agency will post information on Twitter and other social media sites.

A mobile version of the Emergency Management BC blog is also available for people with smartphones, and the government is developing an interactive map of tsunami warning zones, so people can determine if they are at risk.

A magnitude-7.7 quake rocked Haida Gwaii and B.C.'s northern coast on Oct. 27, triggering an initial tsunami warning, but the quake did not produce a tidal wave.

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