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Small Quake Off Oregon Coast Shortly After Three Canadian Quakes

Published 10/24/2018 at 5:54 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection Staff

Small Quake Off Oregon Coast Shortly After Three Canadian Quakes

(Portland, Oregon) - Three large quakes hit off the Canadian coast on Sunday night and then another small quake hit off the southern Oregon coast on Tuesday – making it an active early week in the Pacific Northwest.

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These were unrelated and from different faultlines, but the set of earthquakes from the waters of Vancouver Island had some on the Oregon coast worried for a small period of time. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) was quick to post notice, however, that there were no tsunami alerts for any part of the Pacific ocean.

The first quake occurred just before 11 p.m. on Sunday, southwest of the town of Port Hardy, registering a magnitude 6.5. The second, at a magnitude 6.8, happened at around 11:40. The third quake struck just before midnight at a magnitude 6.5.

Canadian scientists said the swarm of three quakes was unusual, but also a reminder that British Columbia has a complex set of faultlines on the Pacific Ring of Fire. According a tweet from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s (CBC) Johanna Wagstaffe, she had an explanation:

“@Jwagstaffe: Looking forward to more info tmrw but preliminary assessment this #earthquake not in our subduction zone (too shallow for one) & of strike-slip orientation (horizontal movement which is why no tsunami threat). We live in a complicated tectonic setting!”

There were some small aftershocks from the quakes later on into Monday morning.

On Tuesday, at 4:21 p.m., the USGS reported a 4.5 earthquake just off the southern Oregon coast. It was about 171 miles west of Bandon with an epicenter over six miles down. No tsunami alerts were issued and there were not reports of damage or even being felt.

Back on August 22, a sizable underwater quake shook just off the Oregon coast, registering as a magnitude 6.2. It happened about 1:30 a.m., some 170 miles west of Coos Bay.

According to Jana Pursley with the USGS, that one was felt on land with what was termed “weak shaking,” meaning no damage was reported and it was not a strong shaker by any means. It was, however, felt as far away as Rockaway Beach, Seaside and even the Portland area.

These come from a network of faults that run parallel to the Oregon coast, stretching some 600 miles long along the western U.S., called the Cascadia Subduction Zone.

The region experiences about 20 or more quakes and clusters of quakes per year. Keep an eye on regional quakes: Oregon, Coast Earthquake Updates - Live Data Oregon, Washington, California, Tsunamis. --- Oregon Coast Lodgings in this area - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours

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