Cascadia: Series of moderate earthquakes strikes off Vancouver Island


A series of moderate earthquakes struck off the coast of Vancouver Island on Wednesday afternoon. Thousands of earthquake occur in British Columbia every year, but only a small fraction have a magnitude of 3.0 and over. There is no Tsunami expected and no reports of any damage.

vancouver island earthquake swarm, vancouver island earthquake swarm february 13 2019
Vancouver island earthquake swarm on February 13, 2019. via USGS

The first quake of the series, a magnitude 4.1 seismic event, was reported at 2:53 pm PT with an epicentre located 344 km west-northwest of Tofino – in an area on the Explorer Plate, between two major ocean fault lines.

The largest was a M4.8 quake registered at 4:34 p.m. at a depth of 10-kilometers some 188 kilometers west of Port Hardy.

Not too long afterward, a third one struck at 4:54 p.m. Earthquakes Canada measured it as a 4.0-magnitude quake, at a depth of 10 kilometres (6 miles) and was 183 kilometres (134 miles) west of Port Hardy.

vancouver island earthquake swarm, vancouver island earthquake swarm february 13 2019
While further south, there is a single boundary between the Pacific and North American continental plates, further north the Explorer, Juan de Fuca and Gorda plates lie between these plates. These three small oceanic plates subduct below the North American plate along the Cascadia subduction zone

On February 10, 2019, another M4.3 earthquake was reported at the same place at 4:02 pm PT… Again at a shallow depth of 10 km.

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[Straight, Earthquakes Canada]

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