British Columbia

5 quakes strike within hours off Vancouver Island, no damage or injuries reported

There were no reports of damage or injuries after five earthquakes struck within seven hours off the northwest end of Vancouver Island on Monday.

Quakes hit more than 100 km from Port Hardy, B.C.

The first three earthquakes more than 100 kilometres west of Port Hardy, B.C., were recorded Monday morning. A fourth followed just before 1 p.m. PT. (CBC News)

There were no reports of damage or injuries after five earthquakes struck within seven hours off the northwest end of Vancouver Island on Monday.

The tremors began as minor quakes, but grew stronger as the morning turned to afternoon.

Earthquakes Canada said the tremors measured at magnitude:

  • 5.1 (8:44 a.m. PT).
  • 5.6 (11:13 a.m.).
  • 5.8 (11:49 a.m.).
  • 6.0 (12:56 p.m.).
  • 4.8 (3:38 p.m.).

All five originated in the Pacific Ocean, more than 100 kilometres off Port Hardy, B.C., at a depth of about five kilometres.

Earthquakes Canada said there were no tsunami warnings, no reports of damage or injuries, and none would be expected from quakes that size.

Another smaller quake, estimated at magnitude 4.3, was also detected Monday at 9:32 p.m., about 29 kilometres west of the village of Queen Charlotte — and hundreds of kilometres to the northwest of the earlier tremors.

Area is hot spot for quakes, seismologist says

Andrew Schaeffer, a seismologist with Earthquakes Canada, says they had received no reports of anyone feeling the quakes.

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

These are not the kind of earthquakes that produce tsunamis, he added. 

Speaking after the first four quakes had been reported, Schaeffer said the area in the Pacific off Vancouver Island is a hot spot for seismic activity, with magnitude 5 quakes recorded several times a year.   

"Having four in a row is a little more than what we would usually have anticipated but certainly not out of the norm for this active region," he said. 

In the last year, there have been more than 100 earthquakes between magnitude 3 to 5, he said. 

"It's also not that uncommon to have a series of earthquakes in close proximity to each other in time," he said.   

He said Monday's quakes happened in the Winona Basin, a northern piece of the Juan de Fuca plate that broke off at some point. 

With files from The Canadian Press