Strong earthquake, aftershocks strike south of Haida Gwaii

Scott Sutherland

A magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck between Haida Gwaii and Vancouver Island at just after 1:19 p.m. Pacific time Tuesday.

The quake was shallow, but far enough away from land that it was apparently only lightly felt by some local residents, and no injuries or damage have been reported. It was initially reported as magnitude 6.2, but was downgraded to 6.1 afterwards. No tsunami was detected due to the quake, but a few aftershocks of magnitude 4.5 or greater, have followed since.

These are the latest in a series of earthquakes in the Haida Gwaii region, near the northern tip of the Explorer plate, which is sandwiched between the North American plate and Pacific plate. The most significant quakes in the area were magnitude 7.7, on October 27, 2012, and magnitude 7.5 on January 5th, 2013.

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This is also the latest of five major earthquakes around the Pacific Ring of Fire in the past week — a magnitude 6.1 earthquake north of New Zealand last Tuesday, a 7.0 earthquake in the Aleutian Islands, in southwest Alaska, early in the morning on Friday, a 6.5 quake in southeast Indonesia early on Sunday, and a 6.1 quake in Papua New Guinea early Monday morning.

Several hundred earthquakes happen around the Pacific Ring of Fire every week, with roughly 100 or so registering as magnitude 4.5 or greater.

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