Quake hits off Vancouver Island 0
A magnitude 6.4 quake struck off Vancouver Island Friday.
VANCOUVER - The 6.4-magnitude earthquake that hit Vancouver early Friday afternoon caused no damage, but is stirring up dialogue on B.C.'s emergency preparedness.
People in high-rise buildings in downtown Vancouver swayed as the city felt the tremors of a 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck west of Vancouver Island.
The quake, which was initially pegged at 6.7 on the Richter scale, struck at 12:41 p.m. local time.
It was later downgraded.
It happened about 80 kilometres off the coast of Vancouver Island at a depth of about two kilometres.
At least one politician raised concern about the province's preparedness within hours of the quake.
NDP MP Kennedy Stewart was at his home in his Burnaby-Douglas just outside Vancouver when the quake hit.
"I was sitting in my house typing away and I felt the table shake. I said to my wife, 'what's going on.'
I thought I was having a heart attack," said Stewart, who has never felt a quake despite living in the Vancouver area since 1988.
"It was very shocking and immediately my mind went to the refinery in Burnaby."
He said he's been meeting with those in the petrochemical industry in his riding to discuss emergency preparedness in light of the big quake that hit Japan earlier this year.
"We're not as prepared as we should be," he said. "The federal government is focusing a lot on terrorism but indeed, natural disaster might be the biggest threat to us as we felt today."
Natural Resources Canada seismologist John Cassidy said aftershocks are already being recorded and will continue over the next few days in the range of a magnitude of 5.
While he called the quake "pretty small in the big scheme of things," Cassidy couldn't say whether it could trigger more.
Cassidy added that similar-sized earthquakes happen in the same region about every 10 years.
The last one was in 2004.
Chris Duffy, director of operations for Emergency Management B.C., said the quake was "A great reminder for all of us to be prepared."