Magnitude 6.6 earthquake strikes Vancouver Island coast

Oct 22 2018, 12:58 pm


After a series of earthquakes hit off the west coast of Vancouver Island on Sunday night, a seventh earthquake has been reported this morning 225 km west of the town of Tofino, and 419 km west of Victoria.


A relatively powerful magnitude 6.6 earthquake was detected just off the west coast of Vancouver Island late this evening, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

The earthquake struck Sunday at 10:39 pm PST and had a shallow depth of just 11 kms, with an epicentre located about 218 km southwest of Port Hardy. It occurred on the Explorer Plate.

A second earthquake struck at 11:16 pm PST within the same vicinity, but it had a more powerful magnitude of 6.8.

Minutes later at 11:22 pm PST, a third earthquake with a magnitude of 6.5 was detected near the locations of the first two earthquakes. Both the second and third earthquakes had a depth of 10 kms.

No damage can be expected from these magnitude 6+ earthquakes given the open ocean epicentre locations of the seismic events, but had these occurred near or on land they could have created significant damage, especially with their shallow depths.

At 11:36 pm PST, a less powerful aftershock – the fourth earthquake this evening – was recorded in the area. It measured a magnitude of 4.9, the weakest in this series of tremors.

Both USGS and Natural Resources Canada have indicated there is no threat of a tsunami for any of these earthquakes, based on the data the organizations have received. A tsunami warning has not been issued.

This area on the active Explorer Plate, adjacent to the Juan de Fuca Plate, is known for its seismic activity.

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