Agassiz and Harrison residents that felt something the earth move under their collective feet this past week can rest assured it wasn’t just their imagination.
At about 11 p.m. last Thursday night, there was a minor earthquake three kilometres east-northeast of Agassiz. The brief shake was 1.6 magnitude at a depth of 3.9 km. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), earthquakes of such a small magnitude are not usually detected by anything or anyone except a seismograph.
Area residents on social media responded with a mix of surprise, confusion and good-natured humour when discussing the “loud thump,” as some have described it.
“So sorry; I fell out of bed,” joked one resident.
“I actually got up because i thought someone hit our house or something,” said another.
The USGS web page for the quake stated no members of the public reported the earthquake and it was reviewed by a seismologist.
On Friday, another earthquake hit the west coast of Vancouver island near Ucluelet at about 1:35 p.m. with a magnitude of 4.8 and a depth of 26 kilometres; the magnitude was first reported as 4.0. Residents from Port Alberni to Nanaimo and Comox reported feeling the earthquake as did a number of residents on the Lower Mainland. No tsunami was expected.
The second quake marked the second in 24 hours for Canada’s west coast.
Yet another earthquake shook Agassiz on Saturday, the second to strike in the Fraser Valley during the past week. This time it was originally reported as a 2.6 magnitude earthquake at a depth of almost seven kilometres. As of press time, it is listed as a 2.4-magnitude earthquake at the depth of five kilometres.
The quake was recorded at 9:20 a.m. four kiliometres north of Agassiz (later reported as five kilometres northwest) with residents reporting a loud boom and houses shaking. While there were zero reports of Thursday’s earthquake from the public to the USGS, Saturday’s quake saw 50 reports come in.
To report feeling a quake, visit Earthquakes Canada online at eartquakescanada.nrcan.gc.ca and fill out their earthquake questionnaire. The questionnaire starts with a list of detected and reported earthquakes from all over the country. Once the appropriate option is selected, Earthquakes Canada will ask a series of basic questions such as where and when the earthquake was felt, the individual’s specific experience, the effects on the environment around them and any damage that occurred.
For any further questions about earthquakes, contact the Earthquakes Canada western office at 250-363-6500.
Black Press reporter Ashley Wadhwani contributed to this report.