Magnitude 5.2 earthquake strikes off the coast of Vancouver Island

May 22 2020, 7:51 pm

A magnitude 5.2 earthquake has struck the coast of Vancouver Island.

According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the seismic event took place on Friday evening at 7:14 pm PST in the Port Hardy area.

Earthquakes Canada says that there are no reports of damage and no tsunami expected.

The USGS says that the earthquake had a depth of 10 km. It struck 307 km west of Campbell River and 295 km northwest of Tofino.

Last December, British Columbia saw a peculiar string of seismic activity — nine earthquakes over a three-day span.

Thousands of earthquakes occur in BC every year, but only a small fraction of these tremors have a notable magnitude of 3.0 and over.

An increase in an earthquake’s magnitude of 1.0 — such as the difference between a magnitude 4.0 earthquake and a magnitude 5.0 earthquake — is a 10-fold difference in the energy of an earthquake.

As a further example, a magnitude 8.0 earthquake is 1,000 times more powerful than a magnitude 5.0 earthquake. Shallow earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.0 can still cause significant damage when the epicentre is near urban areas, and the impact is amplified with a shallow depth.