Three large quakes earthquakes strike off Canada's west coast

AFP-JIJI, Staff Report

A series of three strong earthquakes struck off Canada’s west coast late Sunday, according to the United States Geological Survey.

There were no immediate reports of casualties, damage or tsunami from the quakes, the first of which struck just before 11 p.m., around 190 km southwest of Port Hardy, a town on the northeast end of Vancouver Island in British Columbia.

The first quake, reported as magnitude 6.5, was followed by another, of magnitude 6.8, around 40 minutes later. The third quake was reported at magnitude 6.5 just before midnight, near the same area as the previous two.

The region is located near the Cascadia subduction zone, a mammoth fault line that lies offshore, stretching from northern Vancouver Island to Northern California in the United States.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp., the country’s public broadcaster quoted in-house meteorologist and seismologist Johanna Wagstaffe as saying that the earthquakes are a reminder that the province is in a “complicated” tectonic setting.

“If any one of these quakes had hit closer to land, there would have been devastating consequences,” Wagstaffe said.

“Three large ones in a row does seem unusual and I’m sure scientists will be learning as much as they can over the next couple of days about the change in stresses just off our coast,” she added.