6.6 earthquake off Northern Vancouver Island shakes coastal residents
No tsunami predicted by authorities
A strong earthquake off the west coast of Vancouver Island shook coastal residents as far away as Metro Vancouver Wednesday evening, thankfully no casualties or major damage were reported to authorities.
The quake registered a magnitude of 6.6, according to the United States Geological Survey, and it happened at 8:10 p.m.
The quake's epicentre was about 94 km south of Port Hardy and 157 km west of Campbell River, according to the USGS, and it occurred at a depth of 11.4 km.
The strong quake was quickly followed by two more aftershocks, according to the USGS.
The first, registering a magnitude of 5.0, came at 8:20 p.m. and the second hit twenty minutes later and registered 4.2. Both were located near the initial epicentre.
Based on information about the earthquake and historic tsunami records, the U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center predicted that a tsunami would not follow the quakes.
Port Hardy Mayor Bev Parnham said nobody in that town was injured, but she said “pretty much everyone felt it … it was quite a shake.”
“Our infrastructure is in place and there’s no damage that we’ve been able to see,” she said.
Parnham said Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon was greeting seniors at the Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre, an interpretive centre and fish hatchery, when the earthquake hit.
She said there was no panic, people remained calm, and after the quake ended she left to ensure none of the community's infrastructure was damaged. She said public-works officials even went out to check.
"I think that the honourable lieutenant-governor will remember Port Hardy,'' said Parnham.
Shelley Siemens, a Port Hardy resident, was in her home along with her daughter and boyfriend when the shaking began.
“It was really kind of scary,” she said.
“I was in my bathroom and I have glass sliding doors — I thought they were going to come right out,” said Siemens.
“I ran down the hallway to my boyfriend and I said, ‘what the heck, did you guys feel that?’”
She said it was the second time she had been in an earthquake in Port Hardy, but said this one felt different.
It was brief, but powerful, and felt like it rolled from north to south, she said.
The earthquake and its aftershocks occurred at the Cascadia Subduction Zone near the point where the North American Plate meets the Explorer and Juan de Fuca plates.
At a magnitude of 6.6, the initial quake was strong enough to “cause damage to poorly constructed buildings and other structures” within 100 kilometres, according to information from Natural Resources Canada.
Earthquakes are common off B.C.'s coast, where the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate meets the Pacific tectonic plate, but few are large enough to be felt by humans.
The most recent large quake was in October 2012, when a magnitude 7.8 quake shook Haida Gwaii. There was little damage and no tsunami was generated in that quake.
With a files from The Canadian Press
Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/earthq ... z2zmxpe7Db
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