Natural Resources Canada is calling a dozen earthquakes occurring northwest of Port Hardy over the last few days an ‘earthquake swarm’. (Earthquakes Canada photo)

‘Earthquake swarm’ strikes off Vancouver Island for past four days

Cluster of earthquakes hit northwest of Port Hardy

A series of earthquakes occurring over the last few days off the northwest tip of Vancouver Island is being called an “earthquake swarm” by Natural Resources Canada.

The Earthquakes Canada website shows more than a dozen earthquakes hit over the last four days, all in the same area approximately 200 kilometres off Port Hardy. The largest of the quakes registered at a magnitude of 5.1, according to the site.

RELATED: What to pack in an emergency preparedness kit for earthquakes

Earthquake seismologist John Cassidy, with Natural Resources Canada, said it is not unusual to see clusters of earthquakes in this offshore region – with 111 earthquakes of M4.8 or larger happening in the area in the last 30 years.

“Every few years we have one of these swarms where there is a steady stream of tiny earthquakes,” said Cassidy.

Most of the earthquakes in the current swarm, which began Feb. 10, were small (M<3), with the largest M5.1 occurring on Feb. 13 at 4:34 p.m., according to the Earthquakes Canada website.

RELATED: More than 150 tremors hit Vancouver Island in last 24 hours

The swarm is on an active fault zone that is a smaller and separate one from the Cascadia subduction zone, and would therefore not contribute to the “Big One”, said Cassidy.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

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