March 16, 2017 6:41 pm

Tsunami sirens in White Rock just a test: City officials

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Residents of White Rock were surprised to hear tsunami sirens in their community Thursday morning.

The sirens were the result of the Semiahmoo First Nation conducting an evacuation drill.

The City of White Rock says the Semiahmoo First Nation informed them that the tsunami siren alerts would begin at 11 a.m., but did not communicate that the alarms would not include clear messaging that the sirens were part of a drill.

Officials say the lack of clear messaging made some residents think it was a real evacuation.

Jennifer, a resident of White Rock, told Global News the message that followed the siren advised them to leave the area and go to higher ground.

“We were not sure if we should ignore it,” she said.

She then called the fire department that explained what was going on.

“I felt bad because it is almost like the next time it happens, you will want to ignore it, but really you should leave.”

The City says they are 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,” officials said in a press release.

When Global News attempted to contact Semiahmoo First Nations for comment, they refused the opportunity.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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