A magnitude 4.8 earthquake hit the western edge of Vancouver Island earlier this evening, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The earthquake was detected at 6:02 p.m. and had an epicentre 18 kilometres northeast of the city of Tofino.
There have been social media reports by Vancouver Island residents who say they felt the tremor. However, the seismic event had a relatively deep depth of 24 kilometres, which reduced the amount of shaking that could have been felt.
Over the past month, British Columbia’s coast between the southern tip of Haida Gwaii and the northern tip of Vancouver Island has been hit by a swarm of eight medium-sized undersea earthquakes with magnitudes of between 4.0 to 5.2.
However, this evening’s earthquake was located away from the swarm, several hundred kilometres south closer to the province’s major population centres.
British Columbia is hit by thousands of earthquakes every year, but only a small fraction hold a magnitude of 3 or greater. In addition, most of the province’s earthquakes are away from land – in the Pacific Ocean off the western coast of Vancouver Island.
— Hilary Eastmure (@HilaryEastmure) January 8, 2015
— Gary Townsend (@gary_townsend) January 8, 2015
@BC1 Tofino friends felt the quake and said every dog in the neighbourhood was barking
— brewrista (@brewrista) January 8, 2015
— Harrison (@HarrisonMNT) January 8, 2015
4.8 #earthquake off Tofino – felt it!
— J.P. McLean (@jpmclean1) January 8, 2015
@1023TheWave Earthquake off Tofino. I knew I felt shaking here.
— Our_Ice (@Minnie1318) January 8, 2015
I just felt my first earthquake!!! Shook the house for 5 seconds, it was a strong one!!! 4.8 by Tofino!!! #earthquake
— Kendra (@NM_missy) January 8, 2015
Earthquake M4.8: Tofino, Canada! I knew I felt the earth move under my feet!
— Sean Smith (@SeanSmithCR) January 8, 2015
Just felt that earthquake in Tofino all the way over in Comox.
— Paws’nTails (@pawsntails) January 8, 2015
— Jennifer Breakspear (@jjbreakspear) January 8, 2015
— Debbie Johnston (@thepunk31) January 8, 2015
Just felt the Tofino earthquake in North Nanaimo. Bowl of flowers rocking on table.
— Pam Agnew (@nineorcas) January 8, 2015
Feature Image: USGS