The truck attack that killed at least 84 people in Nice is "insane" and highlights the unpredictability of terrorist-related incidents, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said Friday.

"Unfortunately, nobody is safe from this insane kind of act," Couillard said while on a trade mission in Munich. "Let's hope there are no more.

"You can't totally protect yourself, and our security forces must be vigilant in order to detect radicalization and planned acts ahead of time as much as possible. But when you're dealing with an act perpetrated by one person alone, it's difficult to prevent."

Canada's ambassador to France, Lawrence Cannon, tweeted that no Canadian casualties were reported after the weapon-laden truck plowed into a crowd of Bastille Day revellers in the French resort city late Thursday.

A spokesman with a Vancouver Island school district said several students from the Nanaimo area were just metres from the site of the terrorist attack but that all 85 teens are safe.

Dale Burgos of the Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District, said the Grade 9 to 12 students are unhurt but very shaken by what they witnessed.

Burgos told radio station CFAX the teens were in the first week of a two-week visit to France and Spain and were being billeted in private homes in Nice.

The group has met to consider whether to continue the trip or return home, which Burgos says is an option.

"We have spoken with the Canadian consulate, as you can imagine, they are very busy right now but they have offered support," he said.

"There is the foreign crisis centre that we have been in contact with and should we need to send people out there, we will do that, considering the language barriers out there. If they need someone to speak to, we will provide that counselling."

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement he was "heartbroken" by the attack.

"On behalf of all Canadians, I extend my deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who were killed," he said. "We also wish a speedy recovery to the many more that were injured.

"Canada and France are the closest of friends, and we stand by the French people as they face this terrible ordeal. We have offered all possible assistance to the French government.

"Senseless acts like this one are not isolated events, and we will continue to work with our Allies and partners to fight terrorism in all of its forms. We will bring those who are responsible to justice, whether they be the perpetrators, or those involved in funding or organizing such attacks."

French police have identified the attacker as Mohamed Bouhlel, a 31-year-old Tunisian who lived in Nice.

The Canadian Press

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