An earthquake and at least two aftershocks struck off the coast of British Columbia on Tuesday morning, shaking houses and scaring some residents throughout the North Coast region.
The first quake had a magnitude of 6.6 and was recorded just off the southern tip of Haida Gwaii, also known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, around 7:30 a.m. PT.
It was followed seven minutes later by a second quake with a magnitude of 5.7., and shortly afterward by a third of about magnitude 3.0.
So far there are no reports of any damage, but residents reported the tremors from the first quake were felt for about 15 to 30 seconds.
'The little guy was hiding under the blankets.' —Skidegate resident Andy Wilson
Stephane Mazzotti of the Geological Survey of Canada called the quake and its aftershocks a major event, but not all that unusual.
"It's not very surprising actually. That particular area of the southern end of the Queen Charlottes is very active when it comes to earthquakes, and it has moderate to large seismic activity on a quite regular basis," said Mazzotti.
According to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, no tsunami has been observed, and none is expected.
Children scared by shaking
Skidegate resident Andy Wilson said he was shaving in the bathroom of his home on the Queen Charlotte Islands when his house started shaking.
"So I ran out to make sure the kids were OK.… The TV and the windows and other things were shaking inside the house," he said.
"They were pretty scared because they had never experienced being in the house when it was like that.... The little guy was hiding under the blankets. I had to reassure him it was just an earthquake. The other one was just kind of stunned sitting there with his older sister," he said.
Wilson said they felt the second quake a few minutes later.
It wasn't the first time Wilson had an earthquake shake his house. About 10 or 15 years ago a similar quake nearly shook his TV onto the floor he said.
Wilson said he will now check his house for damage, particularly around doorways.
On the mainland, Smithers resident Rick Groot said he felt the quake, but it was much milder in his area.
"It was a quiet rumble, but it was noticeable," he said.
The first quake woke Nancy O'Higgins in her bed in Port Clements, on Graham Island.
"The first thing I noticed was just a mild moving of the bed sideways, and I'm looking at the dog thinking, is she doing this? And it just got stronger and stronger," said O'Higgins.
"But my whole bed was going side to side and I didn't actually feel quite so nauseated until it was over," she said.