PORT HARDY, B.C. – A student specializing in tsunami response and preparedness is on the North Island.

Mark Kielthy recently met with District of Port Hardy staff to discuss preparedness and the response to the tsunami warning that was issued for the region in January.

Kielthy is a post-graduate student from the University College of London, England.

“He is doing his study on the distance tsunami warning at night, with a focus on the tsunami warning that happened up here on January 23rd,” said Allison McCarrick, the district’s Chief Administrative Officer.

Kielthy previously made a stop in Tofino. The tsunami alert was issued in both Port Hardy and Tofino.

“He’ll be comparing the response to that alert that happened in both communities,” McCarrick said.

She noted that the meeting went well and was very informative. She said Kielthy is going to be conducting 10-15 minute door-to-door interviews over the next couple of weeks for residents in the tsunami hazard zone.

“We let the public and RCMP know that he was going to be in town doing that,” she explained.

“He’s going to come back to an emergency planning meeting, or hopes to, next Monday (June 25), and then he’s going to come see council at our next meeting on June 26th.”

She said Kielthy is set to be working in the region until the end of the month.

“Hopefully this will help him along with his research and getting his Master’s (degree) done, and then he’ll be providing us with any data that he has collected,” she said.

“You know, looking at what they did in Tofino, what we did here, what worked and what didn’t work. I’m sure he’s going to summarize that and give us all the data, so it’s a win-win for our community.”