A trio of minor tremors reverberated throughout an active seismic region off the coast of British Columbia this past Sunday. Fortunately, there were no reported damages incurred nor ensuing tsunamis activated.
According to Earthquakes Canada, the primary earthquake initialized around 8:20 a.m. local time, clocking in at a magnitude of 4.0. The epicentre of this geological event was roughly 185 kilometres west of Port Hardy, a location situated to the north of Vancouver Island.
In the same vicinity, there was an earlier record of a stronger 5.5 magnitude quake at the break of dawn, approximately 4:30 a.m., followed by a slightly reduced intensity of 4.2 magnitude about ninety minutes prior to this.
As present, the agency is attentively observing an outpour of seismic activity, described as a ‘swarm’, in the far offshore regions of Northern Vancouver Island. Since mid-September, the count of such temblors has exceeded 30, with the most powerful being the aforementioned 5.5 magnitude quake. However, none have been consciously felt by inhabitants of the area.
Andrew Schaeffer, an experienced seismologist associated with Natural Resources Canada, characterized the seismic movement within the vicinity as considerably routine. He attributed the successive tremors to the geological formation known as the Queen Charlotte Triple Junction. This is a point of intersection for three tectonic plates, thereby instigating significant seismic activity.
“Occasionally we experience these occurrences in spurts or swarms; at other times it’s more consistent, akin to natural background seismicity,” Schafer explained. He, however, clarified that predicting further occurrences is beyond the realm of possibility.
According to Schaeffer, this seismic activity doesn’t operate under the influence of seasonal conditions or time frames but may randomly surge, giving rise to what is referred to as a ‘swarm’. It is quite commonplace for at least a magnitude 3.0 event to occur each month in this region, though sometimes the frequency may increase.
Schaeffer confirmed that there were no reported incidents of damage resulting from Sunday’s earthquakes and negated the possibility of an impending tsunami. He cautioned inhabitants of the western coast, however, reminding them of their residence within an active earthquake zone and emphasized the importance of preparedness.
He recommended that households should have an ‘earthquake preparedness kit’ readily available and devise a robust family emergency plan for prompt action in the occurrence of a natural disaster. Living in a world constantly evolving geologically, being prepared is the best defence against the unpredictability of Mother Nature.