Statement from the City of White Rock Regarding Semiahmoo First Nation’s Tsunami Drill

Today the Semiahmoo First Nation conducted an evacuation drill for their community.

The Semiahmoo First Nation informed the City of White Rock that the siren alerts would begin at 11:00AM with their Tsunami tone (wailing). However, they did not inform the City that their alarms would not include clear messaging that it’s a test or a drill only.

As the alarms did not have clear messaging that this was a test, it caused residents to believe it was a real evacuation, particularly when they heard, “This is a tsunami warning, please vacate and get to higher ground or inland now, do not return.” 

The City is also concerned about the lack of communication provided by Semiahmoo First Nations. We have communicated our concerns and re-emphasized the need for clearer communication with the City and the public in the future.