On September 6, 2021, a strong earthquake hit Kitimat at the northernmost tip of the Cascadia Subduction Zone around noon local time. The official reports of the M6.5 earthquake on land in British Columbia, Canada were quickly deleted by USGS.
The USGS sent out the first alert, but nothing came from other seismic agencies like Natural Resources Canada or EMSC.
Despite coming through some USGS feeds, there is no sign of an earthquake having actually occurred from people who should have felt it.
If there really had been an event anywhere close to that magnitude, recording stations all over North America would have picked it up.
Did you notice the location? The upper end of the Cascadia Subduction Zone… Inland…
It seems like something went very wrong.
A government seismologist says a magnitude 6.5 earthquake reported in British Columbia on Monday never happened.
Alison Bird of Natural Resources Canada says a computer glitch led to the erroneous report from the United States Geological Survey.
She says there was no earthquake 165 kilometers southeast of Kitimat on Monday afternoon.
Bird says the automated system isn’t perfect at processing data.
She says it’s possible that two small quakes at different locations were detected as one event.
Posts about the false alarm on the American agency’s website have been deleted.
The cascadia Subduction Zone
The Cascadia Subduction Zone is a 600-mile fault that runs from northern California up to British Columbia and is about 70-100 miles off the Pacific coast shoreline.
There have been 41 earthquakes in the last 10,000 years within this fault that have occurred as few as 190 years or as much as 1200 years apart.
The last earthquake that occurred in this fault was on January 26, 1700, with an estimated 9.0 magnitude. This earthquake caused the coastline to drop several feet and a tsunami to form and crash into the land.
What is most surprising is that evidence for this great earthquake also came from Japan. Japanese historic records indicate that a destructive distantly-produced tsunami struck their coast on January 26, 1700.
By studying the geological records and the flow of the Pacific Ocean, scientists have been able to link the tsunami in Japan with the great earthquake from the Pacific Northwest. Native American legends also support to the timing of this last event.
Oregon, Washington and BC in Canada have the potential for a 9.0+ magnitude earthquake caused by the Cascadia Subduction Zone and a resulting tsunami of up to 100 feet in height that will impact the coastal area.
There is an estimated 2-4 minutes of shaking or rolling that will be felt along the coast line with the strength and intensity decreasing the further inland you are. Are you prepared?
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