Earthquakes Strike Vancouver Island, No Injuries Reported

OTTAWA — A string of earthquakes has struck off the northwest end of Vancouver Island.

Earthquakes Canada says the first tremor measured 5.1, the second had a magnitude of 5.6, the third reached 5.8 and the fourth was the largest at six.

The quakes struck within about four hours of each other starting at 8:44 a.m. local time Monday.

Earthquakes Canada says the quakes were centred more than 100 kilometres off northwest Vancouver Island, an active region for earthquakes that size.

Andrew Schaeffer, a seismologist with Earthquakes Canada, says a number of smaller aftershocks came along with the larger quakes.

The quakes were measured at a depth of about five kilometres and Earthquakes Canada says there were no tsunami warnings and no reports of damage or injuries.

Schaeffer says the quakes coming in a sequence is often seen, although it’s not as common for the magnitudes to climb like they did on Monday but it has happened before.

He says they’ve had no reports of anyone even feeling the quakes.

“You’d have to be ready and waiting and expecting it to feel it. It would be pretty hard to distinguish it from a big truck driving by a few hundred metres away,” he says.

Schaeffer says the area in the Pacific off Vancouver Island is a hot spot for quakes with magnitude five quakes being recorded several times a year.

He says the quakes happened in what’s known as the Winona Basin, a northern piece of the Juan de Fuca plane that broke off at some point.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 23, 2019.

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