October 27, 2012 – A Powerful 7.7-Magnitude Earthquake Struck Western Canada: A magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck along the coast of western Canada on Saturday and a tsunami warning was issued. There were no immediate reports of damage. The quake struck at 8:04PM local time (11:04PM EDT, 10:04PM CDT, 9:04PM MDT and 8:04PM PDT and at the epicenter). The quake hit at a depth of 18 kilometers (11 miles).
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Colorado said the quake hit the Queen Charlotte Islands Saturday evening (8:04PM) and was centered 96 miles (155 kilometers) south of Masset, British Columbia. The earthquake occurred at 3:04AM GMT (London). Update: Oct. 28, 2012 – 4:04PM EDT – A 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck the same area at 6:53PM GMT (18 hours after the main shock). The aftershock occurred 766 Kms (476 miles) WNW of Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada.
The National Weather Service issued a tsunami warning for coastal areas of British Columbia and southern Alaska. It said the warning area included Craig and Sitka, Alaska.
The USGS said the 7.7-magnitude quake shook the area and was followed by a 5.8-magnitude aftershock several minutes later.
The U.S. Coast Guard in Alaska said it was trying to warn everyone with a boat on the water to prepare for a potential tsunami.
Lt. Bernard Auth of the Juneau Command Center says the Coast Guard was also working with local authorities to alert people in coastal towns to take precautions.
The earthquake occurred 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Sandspit, British Columbia on the Haida Gwaii archipelago, formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands. It was 556 kilometers (345 miles) northwest of Campbell River, Canada and 635 kilometers (395 miles) SSE of Juneau, Alaska, USA.
Port Clements Golden Spruce hotel operator Urs Thomas said there was no warning before everything began moving inside and outside the hotel. He said it last about three minutes.
“It was a pretty good shock,” Thomas, 59, said. “I looked at my boat outside. It was rocking. Everything was moving. My truck was moving.”
After the initial jolt, Thomas began to check the hotel.
“The fixtures and everything were still swinging,” he said. “I had some picture frames coming down.”
Natural Resources Canada said in a statement that a major earthquake was felt across much of north and central British Columbia but that there were no immediate reports of damage.
The fear here is that this is a precursor to a massive event further south near Seattle, Washington; which is the only place around the Pacific “Ring of Fire” that has not experienced a 9.0-magnitude killer quake. The ramifications for such a quake would be catastrophic in terms of physical damage and death. The U.S. economy would be severely impacted. (Credits: Narrative – The Olympian, Data – USGS).
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