3.6 magnitude quake Christmas Day latest to strike west Vancouver Island

Global Flash

No damage is expected after a 3.6 magnitude earthquake struck in the Pacific Ocean around 150 kilometres west of Port Alice, B.C., on Christmas morning, the latest in a string of quakes to hit the area over the past week.

Wednesday’s quake happened around 8:30 a.m. PT.

It’s considered an aftershock of a larger 6.2 quake in the same general area on Christmas Eve, said Andrew Schaeffer, an earthquake seismologist with Natural Resources Canada.

“Having earthquakes in this region is completely normal. We’re used to a lot of them there,” he said.

“This is an area of high seismicity.”

Over the past year, there have been almost 90 magnitude 3 quakes in the area, he said. Another 15 to 20 were magnitude 4. 

The Christmas Day quake is one of about 15 between magnitudes 2 and 3 to hit the area in a sequence that started on Dec. 23.

Earthquakes that are magnitudes 2 and 3 do not produce tsunamis and “almost certainly” cannot be felt by anyone when they occur so far off shore, Schaeffer said. 

“What these earthquakes really remind us is we live in a seismically active part of Canada,” he said.

“It’s always a good idea to be prepared.”

6 earthquakes strike off B.C. coast, no damage or tsunami expected

There were no reports of damage or tsunami expected after six earthquakes struck off the B.C. coast Monday, according to federal officials.

According to Earthquakes Canada, the first quake measured magnitude 5.1, the second 5.6, the third 5.8, the fourth and strongest measured 6.0, and two later quakes measured 4.8 and 4.3.

The first five were at a depth of about 5 kilometres and centred between 160 and 186 kilometres west of Port Hardy on Vancouver Island, said Earthquakes Canada.

Just after 9:30 p.m., another earthquake struck 29 kilometres off of the Village of Queen Charlotte on Haida Gwaii, according to Earthquakes Canada.

That quake measured 4.3 and Earthquakes Canada said there was no tsunami expected.

The quakes were located on the small Juan de Fuca tectonic plate, which lies between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate.

The area is highly geologically active and a frequent location of small earthquakes, many of which are never felt from land.

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