Nfld. & Labrador

Magnitude 4.3 earthquake hits Labrador, the largest in decades

Monday's quake was the largest of the dozen or so earthquakes on land on the Labrador coast in the last 40 years.

Small quake could be felt but unlikely to have caused any damage

An earthquake just east of Postville wasn't very strong, but it was still the largest to hit the region in a while. (Jerry Goudie/Facebook)

A number of minor earthquakes have been recorded around Newfoundland and Labrador over the last week,
according to Earthquakes Canada.

At approximately 2 p.m. Monday, a magnitude 4.3 earthquake was registered in coastal Labrador at a depth of 18
kilometres, about 18 kilometres east of Postville.

"That's actually quite uncommon for this area," said Fiona Darbyshire, an associate professor of seismology at the University of Quebec in Montreal.

Small seismic events tend to cluster offshore, Darbyshire said, and extend inland only occasionally.

Monday's quake was the largest of the dozen or so earthquakes on land on the Labrador coast in the last 40 years. "It's enough to give you a noticeable shake," she said.

Earthquakes Canada classifies magnitude 4.3 as among earthquakes that are "often felt, but rarely cause damage."

"The way in which an earthquake is felt is not directly associated with its magnitude," Darbyshire said, explaining that the depth of the quake, as well as local rock and soil conditions, also contribute to what's felt above ground.

She said residents can fill out an online survey to help seismologists track and monitor earthquake activity

A magnitude 4.6 earthquake was also recorded off eastern Newfoundland on Sunday, 310 kilometres east of Bonavista.

It follows a magnitude 4.4 quake recorded in the same area off of Bonavista on Friday, both at a depth of 18 kilometres.

Darbyshire said the spate of seismic activity there likely isn't directly related to the earthquake near Postville.

"There's always earthquake activity going on across eastern Quebec and from time to time in Newfoundland," she said. "So it's probably part of the natural background seismicity."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from the Canadian Press and Labrador Morning

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