It seems desperately trying to convince Kawhi Leonard to play for their team is not the only thing Canada and California have in common this week. According to Earthquakes Canada, on Friday morning a 5.1 magnitude earthquake was reported near Bella Bella, B.C. This comes not even 24 hours after the strongest earthquake in 20 years hit Southern California on Thursday afternoon.
According to reports from Earthquakes Canada, a 5.1 magnitude earthquake struck Bella Bella at approximately 5:58 AM local time on Friday morning. There have been no reports of damage or injury so far, and Earthquakes Canada confirmed that there is no tsunami risk at this time. This is one of several earthquakes that have affected the region this month, ranging in magnitude from 3.1 to 5.8.
This comes only days after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake was recorded on Wednesday night, located just off the coast of northern Vancouver Island. The earthquake struck approximately 204 kilometres west of Bella Bella and was felt in the northern area of Vancouver Island. The quake hit at approximately 9:30 PM, and there were three aftershocks, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
According to Natural Resources Canada (NRC), southwestern British Columbia is one of the most “seismically active regions” in Canada. Because of this, up to 400 earthquakes can strike every year, extending from the north end of Vancouver Island to Seattle, Washington U.S. As the vast majority of these quakes happen offshore, they are rarely felt by humans. That said, once or twice a decade, earthquakes capable of causing structural damage will occur on land.
The reason southwestern British Columbia experiences so much of Canada’s earthquakes is because it is located above the boundary between the oceanic Juan de Fuca Plate and the continental North American Plate. This boundary spans 1000 km from northern Vancouver Island to northern California. According to NRC, the Juan de Fuca Plate is descending beneath the North American Plate by about four centimetres a year, which is roughly the same rate fingernails grow.
As the North American Plate is the closest to the Earth’s surface, quakes that occur from here can cause the most damage. The closer to the surface the earthquake is, the stronger the shaking is likely to be. They will also often be followed by a series of smaller shakes, known as ‘after-shocks.’
It seems Canada is not the only one experiencing quakes at the moment, as it was reported on Thursday that the strongest earthquake in almost 20 years had led a city in Southern California to declare a state of emergency. The earthquake, with a magnitude of 6.4, shook from Las Vegas to Orange County, centring around 150 miles north of Los Angeles.
Speaking of the quake, director Ava DuVernay tweeted, "I thought for the first time ever "Is this the big one?" Damn. Respect Mother Nature. She's the boss."
The largest earthquake ever reported in southwestern B.C. occurred on June 23, 1946, near the central Vancouver Island town of Courtenay. It was a magnitude 7.3 quake. According to Natural Resources Canada, 75% of chimneys in the areas close to the epicentre were damaged, and Canadians experienced the shaking as far away as Victoria, Vancouver and even as far east as the Rocky Mountains.