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Small earthquake hits Vancouver Island

August 5, 2013

Vancouver Island is located near a region known for regular seismic activity, the Nootka fault zone. Shifting and friction between two tectonic plates in this area brought about an earthquake that sufficiently shook Vancouver Island on the morning of Aug. 4, according to The Associated Press. Residents were fortunate that the quake, which hit 96 miles south of Vancouver Island's Port Hardy, caused no casualties or excessive damage. The incident may have provoked those on the island to call friends and relatives using prepaid phone cards, to reassure their loved ones that they were safe.

The news source reported that both Earthquakes Canada and the United States Geological Survey recorded the earthquake as having a magnitude of 5.7. It most significantly affected the northern part of the island, and residents such as Bonnie Overland from Port Alice stated that it only seemed to last for several seconds.

John Cassidy, an earthquake seismologist with Natural Resources Canada, told the Canadian Press that while this earthquake was fairly mild, it could be a precursor to more intense - and potentially destructive - quakes in the near future. He also stated that the only thing that caused the seismic event from doing more damage was its distance from the mainland of Vancouver Island.

"We tend to get a band of seismiscity along the region where those two ocean plates meet, and that's where today's earthquake occurred," Cassidy said to the source. "This is a direct result of plate movement. We know that energy is being stored for much larger earthquakes in the future...being prepared, knowing what to do, is really important."

The Canadian Press reported that in addition to the aforementioned Port Alice, residents of Tahsis, Sointula, Alert Bay, Port Hardy and Port McNeill were affected by the earthquake.

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