Strong M6.2 earthquake strikes Pacific Northwest at the northern pit of the Cascadia subduction zone in Canada

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A strong M6.2 earthquake hit the Pacific Northwest in the Haida Gwaii region, British Columbia, Canada on July 4, 2019.

The quake was shallow – 10km (6.2 miles). No tsunami warnings. No people living within 100km (62 miles) from the epicenter. But a clear reminder that the next big one can hit anytime.

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M6.2 earthquake hits off Vancouver Island, BC, Canada at the upper part of the Cascadia Subduction Zone On July 4, 2019. Earthquake map via USGS

Although no people are living within 100 km (62 miles) of the epicenter, at least 50 reports have been sent to USGS, meaning that the waves were felt far away.

What is the Cascadia Subduction Zone?

The Cascadia subduction zone is an almost 700 mile-long convergent plate boundary that stretches from California to Canada’s Northwest Pacific (red line on the image below).

Cascadia Subduction Zone what is USA West Coast

Today’s earthquake hit at the upper north pit of the subduction zone. It hasn’t produced any tsunami and the population is low in this area.

However, today’s M6.2 quake is just a reminder that the Big One can hit anytime now… And more terrifying anywhere on this long Cascadia zone, more densely populated.

M6.2 earthquake hits off BC coast along the Cascadia subduction zone on July 4 2019
M6.2 earthquake hits off BC coast along the Cascadia subduction zone on July 4, 2019. Picture via Twitter

If the earthquake hits off Seattle, it could trigger a devastating tsunami with 85ft high waves leaving 33,000 people drowning and affect the regional and national economy for decades, experts have said.

The Cascadia Subduction Zone has produced magnitude 9.0 or greater earthquakes in the past, and undoubtedly will in the future. The last time was in 1700, 318 years ago.

M6.2 earthquake hits off BC coast along the Cascadia subduction zone on July 4 2019
M6.2 earthquake hits off BC coast along the Cascadia subduction zone on July 4 2019. Picture via Twitter

Oregon State earthquake geologists have warned of the possibilities of a disaster for years, after scientists discovered major earthquakes happen in the area on an average of every 240 years.

This means the ‘Big One’ is long overdue and the recent movement in the Cascadia Subduction Zone might indicate the earthquake could hit the US and the Canadian West Coast very soon.

Be prepared for the next big earthquake in your area!!

[USGS]

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