April 24, 2014 8:32 pm

Earthquake south of Port Hardy was powerful enough to do major damage

VANCOUVER – It was a ‘shake up’ in more ways than one.

Southwestern B.C. dodged a bullet with last night’s earthquake off the coast of Vancouver Island, but the warning is clear.

Story continues below

With a magnitude 6.6 it was easily powerful enough to do major damage but it was in a remote area, south of Port Hardy, and so while it was felt over a wide area it was virtually harmless.

Simon Fraser University Geologist Brent Ward said in comparison to other earthquakes, this was quite a large one. “Very lucky that it’s off the coast and it’s not that close to high population centres,” he said. “Because this is actually bigger than one of the earthquakes that hit Christchurch in New Zealand and that caused extensive damage.”

That earthquake killed 180 people and caused $20 billion worth of damage.

There are reports of some minor damage in Port Hardy and other communities, but no reports of any major damage.

Taimi Mulder, a seismologist with Natural Resources Canada, said this area gets hit by a magnitude 6 earthquake every one to two years. “It occurred on the edge of where the Pacific Plate touches the North America Plate, where it starts to go underneath,” she said. “It’s an area where we do have a history of having earthquakes.”

“It [was] right at the boundary where the off-shore Juan de Fuca Plate starts to subduct or go under the edge of the North America Plate.”

Everybody knows they should be prepared for when ‘the big one’ hits, but few people actually are.

Along with an emergency plan, there are some essentials that officials recommend you have in your home in case you need to survive for a few days without help.

Essentials for your earthquake kit:

  1. Water — At least two litres of water per person per day; include small bottles that can be carried easily in case of an evacuation order
  2. Food that won’t spoil, such as canned food, energy bars and dried foods (replace food and water once a year)
  3. Manual can opener
  4. Crank or battery-powered flashlight (and extra batteries)
  5. Crank or battery-powered radio (and extra batteries)
  6. First aid kit
  7. Extra keys to your car and house
  8. Some cash in smaller bills, such as $10 bills and change for payphones
  9. A copy of your emergency plan and contact information
  10. If applicable, other items such as prescription medication, infant formula, equipment for people with disabilities, or food, water and medication for your pets or service animal (personalize according to your needs)


© Shaw Media, 2014

Report an error