The quake struck 12:41 p.m. PDT (1941 GMT) at a depth of 14.3 miles (23 kilometers) about 173 miles (279 kilometers) west of Vancouver, the USGS said. The quake was initially reported to have a magnitude of 6.7 but was later downgraded by the USGS.
Stephen Halchuck, a seismologist with Natural Resources Canada, said the quake lasted for 20-30 seconds and rattled buildings across Vancouver Island and the southwest portion of British Columbia. He said there has been no immediate reports of damage in the region.
“I was walking out of the office and started to feel the building shake, then the rumble of the earth move. And when that rumbling that comes up through your feet, you know right away, ‘oh, we’re having one of those,’” Holli Bellavie, the municipal administrator for Zeballos said in a telephone interview.
“Each earthquake is unique and has it own aftershock sequence. Some have many thousands of aftershocks and some have only a few or none at all. In this case, we would expect to see some aftershocks, much smaller in size and they would decrease over time, some of which would be too small to be felt by people on land.”
Bellavie said the power in her building went out for a couple of minutes but there was no damage or injuries aside from co-workers who said dishes fell from cupboards and picture frames tumbled off shelves.
She said the village’s elementary school closed immediately and students were evacuated. Since Zeballos is at sea level, the region is set up to react quickly to tsunami warnings and earthquake evacuations.
As a precaution, the Washington state Transportation Department sent inspectors to check for damage at the Alaskan Way Viaduct, an aging elevated highway on the Seattle waterfront, as well as two other bridges.
Four freight trains were delayed while Burlington Northern Santa Fe crews inspected rail tracks, bridges and signals from Ferndale, Washington, north to the Canadian border and tracks in the Sumas and Anacortes, Washington, areas. No structural problems were found, BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas said.
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