WERA In Vancouver Island


WERA -Tsunami Early Warning System Installed In Vancouver Island


Northern Radar Inc of St. John’s NL, ASL Environmental Sciences Inc. of Victoria BC, and Helzel Messtechnik GmbH of Germany, recently entered into a MoU to ‘make and make-it-work’, an oceanographic high frequency radar systems for non‐military applications.  This collaboration has lead to the development of the “WERA NorthernRadar” system – an updated and enhanced version of the “Helzel WERA” HF radar system.

The WERA (WavE Radar) NorthernRadar system helps measure ocean surface currents, ocean wave parameters,  maps and wind direction.  The system can be operated from land and provides data ranging more than 200 km.  This is the range within which a tsunami signature can be detected.

The hardware installation for the West Coast of Vancouver Island was completed on March 27, 2015.

WERA is a useful component for Tsunami Early Warning System in and around the west coast of Vancouver Island.  The data generated by the WERA system is part of Ocean Network-Canada’s Smart ocean systems.  Ocean Networks Canada is funded by the Government of Canada and includes a partnership with IBM Canada.

A research led by Prof. Dante Figueroa, from the University of Concepcion in Chile, reported that the WERA radar system was able to capture signals of Tohoku-Oki earthquake /Tsunami that struck Japan in March 2011.  This is  the first time when an ocean radar has successfully detected an approaching tsunami.

WERA is believed to be a very useful tool for the British Columbia coast that is prone to big earthquakes and tsunamis.  The radar will prove invaluable to detect surface currents of tsunamis up to 100 km from the shore in a short span of 20-30 minute advance warning system.