Tsunamis toss Japanese buoys and hard hats into B.C. forest

Scientist Lucinda Leonard sets up equipment to assess the way a 2012 tsunami inundated the old growth forest on Haida Gwaii, leaving behind plenty of seaweed and debris visible on the ground ~ NRCan Photo

Scientist Lucinda Leonard sets up equipment to assess the way a 2012 tsunami inundated the old growth forest on Haida Gwaii, leaving behind plenty of seaweed and debris visible on the ground ~ NRCan Photo

VANCOUVER _ Japanese hard hats and fishing floats are now lying in old growth forests on the British Columbia coast after being washed into the Pacific Ocean by the biggest tsunami of 2011, and then out of the Pacific by the largest tsunami of 2012.

But apart from the shared wreckage, the two tsunamis show just how different impacts of the giant waves can be. Continue reading →

Fallout from radioactive Fukushima rising in west coast waters

Aerial view of tsunami-ravaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan ~ AP PHOTO/KYODO NEWS

Aerial view of tsunami-ravaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan ~ AP PHOTO/KYODO NEWS

VANCOUVER _ Radioactivity from Japan’s crippled nuclear reactors has turned up off the British Columbia coast and the level will likely peak in waters off North America in the next year or two, says a Canadian-led team that’s intercepted the nuclear plume.

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‘Catastrophic’ quake and tsunami brewing off west coast

Pressure is building on seafloor off Vancouver Island and Pacific Rim National Park

Pressure is building on seafloor off Vancouver Island and Pacific Rim National Park

VICTORIA – The pressure has been building for more than 300 years. A giant slab of rock sliding in from the Pacific is exerting so much pressure on the west coast of North America it is warping Vancouver Island, tilting it higher and squeezing it a few centimetres eastward every year.

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Japanese quake a warning to Canada: Prepare for the inevitable

Fri Mar 9 2012

By Margaret Munro

VANCOUVER – Anacla, a First Nations village on the west coast of Vancouver Island, is moving up, heading for higher, safer ground.

A new “big house” has been built 50 metres up from the pounding surf of Pachena Bay. And there are plans to replace the 49 houses on the beach, which could be swallowed by the sea with just minutes’ notice.

It has happened before, says Tom Happynook, a hereditary chief with the Huu-ay-Aht First Nations, recalling how the village in the bay vanished in 1700, when a quake kicked up giant waves off Canada’s West Coast.

“The village was completely wiped out,” says Happynook.

Scientists say the strain is building again beneath the sea floor as enormous tectonic plates push against each other about 100 kilometres offshore. Continue reading →