Earthquake strikes area off B.C. coast

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The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER – There was some shaking going on off British Columbia’s coast Tuesday, but no one reported feeling the earthquake and at least four subsequent aftershocks.

The first quake, with a magnitude 6.2, was centred about 200 kilometres off Bella Bella, on B.C.’s northern coast, and occurred at 1:19 p.m. PT.

Several more aftershocks measuring between 4.5 and 4.9 were recorded in the hours after the first quake.

Natural Resources Canada seismologist Honn Kao, who is based in Sidney, B.C., said there would likely be many more aftershocks to come, but only the largest are measured immediately.

“That part of the region is known to have very active seismic activity in the past,” he said. “The fact that we have magnitude 6-something in that region is not uncommon at all.”

The Queen Charlotte fault zone and the Cascadia subduction are both in the area of the quake between Haida Gwaii and Vancouver Island, Kao said.

“This is, tectonically, a very, very complicated region,” he added.

He said no reports were received of that anyone closest to the quakes feeling the earth move.

The quakes were considered shallow, at around 14 kilometres deep, but didn’t generate any tsunami warnings.

Kao said one of the largest factors for generating a quake is size, generally 7.5 magnitude or larger.

The shaking continued even during the telephone interview.

Kao abruptly stopped speaking when what sounded like a cellular phone chimed in the background.

“Whoops,” he said. “We just had another aftershock. That’s the automatic system that is telling me there’s another aftershock.”

That jolt measured 4.5, he said.

Kao said experts will be spending several days adding up the smaller shocks and analyzing data from the quake.

Word of the earthquake was news to Bella Bella RCMP Sgt. Glen Caston, who says he didn’t feel a thing.

Caston said police haven’t heard from anyone who felt any rumbling.

“It must have been a pretty soft earthquake,” Caston said.

Organizations: Natural Resources Canada, RCMP

Geographic location: B.C., Bella Bella, Sidney Vancouver Island

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