Fear followed by relief during earthquake and aftershocks
"It's still a bit frantic around here, people are going to the gas station and filling up on gas in case they have to go back up the mountain," she said in a telephone interview.
"Right now the general feeling is a little bit of panic because of the aftershocks," Adams said.
Many residents of Skidegate, a Haida community of under 750 people, either went up a nearby mountain for shelter or to the local day care from the possible tsunami warning.
People were evacuated from Haida Gwaii and Port Edward, near Prince Rupert last night.
"I think we sometimes become complacent, but I should say that last night I don't think anyone was complacent," she added.
Port Clemens resident Betty Stewart said that her municipality "dropped the ball" on getting out appropriate information, and raised concern about information for residents without ready Internet access. Writing on the Queen Charlotte Island Observer, she said:
"During the emergency, we went to www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca and were directed to Municipal Links.. we searched and found www.portclements.ca website and upon going to that website, we clicked on "Urgent Notices" only to find information about the "Tax Sale Process" as the first entry on the page. Then we scrolled further down the page and finally located "The Emergency Preparedness Plan (56-pages)". Information on this page appears to be outdated in terms of some of the contact persons and does not simply display What was going on.. in real time and what residents needed to do.. in real time. This information is totally useless for residents who don't have Internet. There was nothing posted on the Port Clements Face Page either, nor were any notices visibly posted around town. In spite of our Municipality having just participated in "Shake-Out BC", we feel they dropped the ball in keeping residents informed accurately and in a timely manner."
Bond said there will be a review of emergency response. In some affected areas, people complained information wasn't available fast enough.
"People were moving quickly, they were supporting one another," Bond said today. "My job is to ensure that we're doing it as well as possible so we'll debrief about how we responded and what we can do better."
"Things were flying off the shelves" during earthquake
Adams was sitting in her recliner when the earthquake hit. At first, she thought it was thunder. She got up and looked out the window. She didn't see anything.
Then the house started shaking, and the lights went out. Adams realized there was an earthquake.
"Our house shook so hard things were flying off the shelves, our cat went and hid under the couch, and I was scared to death. Lucky thing Dustin kept his cool or I would have been in hysterics," Adams recalled.
Adams' common-law partner Dustin Cross and her two sons came running out of the bedroom, and opened the front door. All four stood at the door, waiting for the shaking to stop.
They watched the tide for a few minutes, waiting to see if they were going to have to run up the mountain, and when the water didn't hit they got the boys' shoes and coats on and packed clothes in a bag.
Not having a car, Adams said they were preapred to make a run for the mountains, keeping an eye on the tide. Soon after, a family member came to pick the family up. They all went up to a relative's house, where a bunch of friends and family gathered.
"We always have a place to go during an event like this, I was wishing we had a kit ready though," Adams recalled.
The next day, the RCMP was around town informing residents about what happened and the risks of aftershocks.
"It was nice to see them try to convince people from coming back down, and some people didn't listen and came down anyway. But they were still doing their jobs," she said.
Adams said nothing major was damaged in her home apart from dishes falling on the ground and some glass breaking.
"Everyone is pretty aware of how much they love each other right now," she said. "I'm just sitting at home with my family and doing what I do every day, I guess. Nothing's really changed in my house, but definitly more aware of needing to be prepared for stuff like this."
With file from Jenny Uechi