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Earthquake hits Banff region: ‘It was like an explosion’

Click to play video: 'Earthquake hits Banff region: officials' Earthquake hits Banff region: officials
An earthquake impacted Banff on Saturday, according to officials. – Feb 13, 2021

Banff Fire Chief Silvio Adamo was enjoying a quiet Saturday night dinner with his daughter when a sudden boom shook the house.

“My first instinct was either someone’s furnace that exploded or there was a tree that fell on my house,” Adamo said.

“It was like an explosion and then shaking. It would be a pretty good assumption that it could have been a train derailment with an explosion but thankfully not.”

A 4.4-magnitude earthquake hit the Banff region on Saturday night just after 6:30 p.m., according to town officials and the United States Geological Survey. Canadian officials said the quake was 3.9 in magnitude.

The USGS said the earthquake was five kilometres north of Banff and 17.3 km deep while Natural Resources Canada said it was six km northwest of Banff and 0.01 km deep.

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“We’ve been in contact with our friends to the east in Canmore and they haven’t reported any damage, although they also felt the shake, as well as the Dead Mans Flats/Exshaw area,” Adamo added. “We’ve been on the phone with TransAlta to confirm with them, and they are investigating, but so far, no report of damage to the infrastructure.”

Adamo noted there have been no reports of an aftershock or avalanche activity but crews are still assessing what happened.

“We’ll be doing a more comprehensive review of all of our underground infrastructure come daylight,” he said. “[It’s] definitely very difficult to see, especially with a very short-lived earthquake to see if there was any kind of infrastructure damage.”
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