A tsunami warning has been issued for coastal British Columbia following a magnitude 7.7 earthquake that struck near Haida Gwaii on Saturday night, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said no destructive tsunami was expected from the quake but the West Coast-Alaska Tsunami Warning Centre issued a warning for coastal sections of British Columbia and Alaska. To the south, the warning extended south to Washingon, Oregon and Northern California.
Emergency Info B.C. confirms two tsunami waves have been measured at Langara Island on the the northern end of Haida Gwaii. Both measured under 50 centimeters.
The quake was felt across a wide area of north-central B.C., including Prince Rupert, Sandspit and Kitimat, and was felt as far away as Quesnel, Houston and Kamloops. It was followed by multiple aftershocks as high as 5.8 in the following minutes.
There have been no reports of damage.
The quake was centred 198 kilometres south-southwest of Prince Rupert at a depth of 10 km, the USGS said.
Natural Resources Canada seismologist John Cassidy says this type of earthquake occurs when two tectonic plates slide against one another, and says it's not the kind that usually causes substantial tsunamis.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said there was the possibility of “widespread dangerous coastal flooding accompanied by powerful currents.”
“A major earthquake occurred in the Haida Gwaii region (formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands). It was felt across much of north-central B.C., including Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert, Quesnel and Houston. There have been no reports of damage at this time,” Natural Resources Canada said in a statement issued Saturday night.