6.4 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes West Coast Off Vancouver Island; Geologist calls it "A Good Wakeup Call"

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An earthquake estimated at 6.4 magnitude has just struck off Vancouver Island. First report of damage from Twitter:

damage report: a small piece of wood fell off my neighbours wood pile. Will attempt to get a photo, after my latte.

TreeHugger Mat, who just survived the East coast earthquake of two weeks ago sends his best wishes:

My heart goes out to those people who didn't feel anything and are 100% alright.

Earthquakes are far more common on the west coast, so we probably shouldn't expect the kind of hype and horror that happened on the east coast. It is a minor quake, and the official line appears to be:

No tsunami watch or advisory or warning has been issued for BC

Simon Fraser University Geologist Brent Ward reports:

A 6.7 magnitude earthquake just occurred off Vancouver Island. The effects were felt in the Lower Mainland. SFU geologist Brent Ward said the quake likely originated from stress built up due to the oceanic Juan de Fuca plate subducting under the North American plate. "This quake would have been most strongly felt in small communities on the west coast of Vancouver Island, such as Gold River and Zebalos, and possibly in Tofino and Ucluelet," he says.

I am calling Professor Ward to see if I can get an interview. Professor Ward called me and said that it is a small earthquake off the coast, that there is no real damage from it, he did not feel it at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, but that people in tall buildings did. (they are designed to sway in such circumstances) He said it was "a good wakeup call."

From the Globe and Mail:

In the small coastal community of Zeballos, the quake prompted some residents to "throw their cats and dogs into the car and prepared to head out of town," said Carolyne Withrow, who runs the local fuel dock. "It shook for about 40 seconds, then there was silence, then it went again, a little harder."

The Globe also contacted Brent Ward and writes:

The quake was muted because the event occurred 26 kilometres below the surface, said geologist Brent Ward of Simon Fraser University. However, the rumbling could be enough to crack brick walls and plaster in nearby Gold River and Zeballos, he said.

The Friday quake should be a "a good wake-up call" for British Columbians, Mr. Ward said. "It should remind people to get their earthquake kits together and have a plan in place," he said.

Favourite tweet:

"Even the earth is excited that it's Friday!"