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5.0 magnitude earthquake strikes near Rocky Mountain House, Alberta

Thursday, October 21st 2021, 8:53 pm - No damage has been reported, but widespread shaking was felt from a 4.1 magnitude earthquake in western Alberta Wednesday night.

A 4.1-magnitude earthquake was recorded near Rocky Mountain House, Alta., on Wednesday night, later revised upward to Magnitude 5.0 by Earthquakes Canada on Thursday.

According to Earthquakes Canada, the earthquake struck at 9:23 p.m. MT, and was located about 31 km west-northwest of Rocky Mountain House.

Alberta Earthquake Rocky Mountain House

Seismologists at Natural Resources Canada said they received more than 200 felt reports of the quake, with many "weak" to "light" ratings coming from the Edmonton area, Red Deer, Rocky Mountain House and Millet.

There have been no reports of damage so far. The depth of the quake was about 10 kilometres.

Smaller earthquakes of this magnitude, 4 or less, are not uncommon for this region of Alberta. Most of the province's recorded quakes are distributed evenly along the foothills and the Rocky Mountains.

The highest naturally occurring seismic activity in Canada is predominantly caused by the Cascadia subduction of the Juan de Fuca plate beneath British Columbia. Stresses built in the rocks due to tectonic motion are the driving force for earthquakes in this region. Experts say this same process happens, though at a smaller scale, in intraplate regions such as Alberta, causing less frequent and smaller magnitude earthquakes.

Rocky Mountain House is a town in west-central Alberta and is located approximately 80 km west of the City of Red Deer and about 215 km southwest of Edmonton.

With files from Alberta Energy Regulator.

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