December 30, 2015 9:15 am
Updated: December 31, 2015 12:47 am

No damage, injuries reported after earthquake rattles B.C.’s South Coast

WATCH ABOVE: Tuesday night's 4.7-magnitude earthquake is just a hint of what could strike at any time but as Ted Chernecki reports, it was the strongest tremor to shake B.C.'s south coast in years.

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An earthquake struck near Sidney, British Columbia, according to Earthquakes Canada.

It happened 19 kilometres northeast of Victoria, 58.7 kilometres below the earth’s surface, at 11:39 p.m. on Tuesday.

Earthquakes Canada originally reported it as a 4.3-magnitude earthquake, while the US Geological Survey has reported the magnitude as 4.8. Earthquakes Canada has now upgraded the earthquake to a 4.7.

BC EARTHQUAKE LOCATOR MAP

There have been no reports of any serious damage, but it was widely felt throughout the South Coast and Vancouver Island.

“I felt quite strong shaking in my house,” said John Cassidy, a seismologist with Natural Resources Canada, who lives just south of Sidney.

WATCH: Global BC cameraman Darrell Patton captured the shaking on his security camera in Langley

“You could hear things moving around, pictures on the wall. It was the strongest in quite some time here.”

Cassidy says how long people felt the earthquake for depended on soil conditions in their area.

“Soil will alter the shaking,” he says. “Most likely, people on soil will feel stronger shaking that will continue for a longer time period, compared to rock.”

WATCH: John Cassidy, a seismologist with Natural Resources Canada, discusses the earthquake

He says this earthquake was also a deep one, making the shaking less strong.

“If the quake was closer to the surface, we would be looking at much stronger shaking reports. These deep earthquakes tend to have very few or, most often, no aftershocks,” says Cassidy.

READ MORE: Here’s a look at 5 of the largest earthquakes to strike B.C.

He says although earthquakes like the one experienced on Tuesday night are common in B.C., it is a reminder we live in a very active earthquake zone.

“We have experienced larger earthquakes in the past and we will experience larger earthquakes in the future,” he says.

READ MORE: ‘I thought something hit my building’: BC residents react to the earthquake

A number of people on social media talked about the importance of having emergency preparedness kits ready.

WATCH: An earthquake rattles British Columbians and raises questions about whether people are prepared for the big one. Jordan Armstrong has more.


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As more British Columbians were finding out about the earthquake, Victoria Police Department Tweeted asking people not to call 911 to report the earthquake to avoid tying up resources. Despite that, E-Comm says it received 247‎ 911 calls in the 15-minute period between when the earthquake struck and midnight, a significantly higher volume than usual.

Immediately after the quake, TransLink shut down the Expo and Millennium Lines to determine whether the guideway was safe, but reopened shortly before 1 a.m.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre says there is no threat of any tsunami at this time.

WATCH: People on the streets of Metro Vancouver and Victoria share their experience of feeling the earthquake.

The City of Vancouver says there are no reports of any significant damage from the earthquake. BC Hydro reported that the quake had no impact on its electrical transmission and distribution systems.

This quake follows another that measured 4.4 and struck several hours earlier near San Bernardino, California.

The USGS said aftershocks of magnitude 3.8 and 3.2 came minutes later, and dozens of tiny aftershocks followed in the next few hours.

So far, no aftershocks have been reported in B.C.

WATCH: Global BC reporters and anchors talk about feeling the earthquake

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