Magnitude 5.1 quake off B.C. coast, no damage
Friday, January 6, 2017, 3:38 PM - A Magnitude 5.1 quake was detected off the B.C. coast Friday morning.
Earthquakes Canada reports the tremor struck at a depth of 10 km. Though relatively shallow, it was also some 186 km away from the nearest major town, Port Hardy on Vancouver Island, and Magnitude 5.1 is not considered to be
"There are no reports of damage, and none would be expected," Earthquakes Canada says.
At least two aftershocks, both weaker than the initial tremor, have been reported so far.
B.C. is one of Canada's most seismically active provinces. Offshore sits the Cascadia Subduction Zone, where the North American plate meets other plates, which are being subducted beneath the larger plate. Every now and then, part of the subducted plate "sticks," leading to a buildup of pressure that is eventually released, triggering earthquakes.
In the 1700s, B.C. and the nearby U.S. Pacific Northwest were struck by a powerful Magnitude 9.0 "megathrust" quake. Europeans had not arrived in the area at the time, but local First Nations suffered devastating losses, and the tsunami the quake unleased even reached the shore of Japan. People in that country referred to it as the "orphan" tsunami, as they were too far away to feel the initial tremor and did not realize there had been an earthquake.
To this day, people in B.C. take part in regular earthquake drills, and the City of Vancouver says there is a one-in-four chance of a major earthquake striking the region within the next 50 years.