Mild earthquake near Delta, Richmond
A mild earthquake shook Richmond and Delta early Tuesday morning (Feb. 15), enough for some residents to feel the earth move.
According to the United States Geological Survey’s Earthquake Hazards Program, the 2.9-magnitude quake came at 6:47 a.m. between Vancouver Island and Tsawwassen in the Strait of Georgia.
The epicentre of the quake, which Natural Resources Canada also recorded, was 38 kilometres southwest of Richmond and 44 km from South Delta.
An hour later, dozens of people on the U.S. Geological Survey's website had reported feeling the quake, most living on Vancouver Island. Some Richmond residents also felt the quake, according to early-morning posts on Twitter.
The survey reported the tremor had a depth of 18.8 kilometres.
On Feb. 8, a similar earthquake was recorded just south of Tuesday's event. The 3.2-magnitude quake occurred under San Juan Island, Wash.
Last month hundreds of thousands of people in B.C. took part in a mass earthquake drill, the Great British Columbia ShakeOut. The drill renewed concerns over what would happen to residents during a quake.
Prior to the Great B.C. ShakeOut, Delta Const. Shane Parker reminded residents they should be ready to look after themselves for 72 hours after a major disaster.
"We're trying to make people aware that in a major disaster, emergency services are going to be absolutely stretched to the limit. And we may not be able to respond immediately to local concerns. Protection of life comes first, protection of property comes after that. People are going to be responsible for themselves for a few days," he said.
Michael Bostock, a professor in earthquake seismology at University of B.C., was quoted as saying Richmond is a particular concern given its high ground water levels.
"What that means is with a little shaking the whole thing can turn into quicksand," he reportedly said.
According to the City of Richmond's website, during an earthquake, shaking can cause liquefaction of soils, which could cause some homes and buildings to settle and crack.
But the city says Lulu Island has "been around for over 5,000 years and has successfully weathered countless earthquakes."
—with files from Kristine Salzmann