Quake shakes residents of Parksville Qualicum Beach

The earthquake Wednesday night was centred off the west coast of the Island, about 94 km south of Port Hardy

A 6.6-magnitude earthquake off the west coast of Vancouver Island was felt in Parksville Qualicum Beach, across the Island and on parts of the mainland at approximately 8.10 p.m. Wednesday, April 23.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the quake’s epicentre was about 94 km south of Port Hardy and 157 km west of Campbell River and it occurred at a depth of 11.4 km.

The USGS reported three aftershocks: the first a magnitude 5.0 at 8.20 p.m., the second a magnitude 4.2 at 8.41 p.m. and the third a magnitude 4.2 at 10.16 p.m.

A tsunami warning was not issued.

Dashwood Volunteer Fire Department fire chief Nick Acciavatti said there were no reports of injuries or damage.

“We were actually out in Coombs training with the Coombs-Hilliers department at the time of the quake,” said Acciavatti. “We got alerts but that’s about all we felt.”

However, Qualicum Beach resident Christa Burger said she felt the earthquake immediately from her living room.

“I was sitting on my couch and all of a sudden I felt the couch moving then I felt my legs moving — I thought ‘what the heck?'” she said. “I walked into the kitchen and noticed the chains of my coo coo clock with the weights on them were shaking.”

Burger said she felt the earthquake “for a good minute” but was “shaken up for quite a while afterwards.”

Wendy Maurer said she was sitting in a chair in her Qualicum Beach home when the quake hit.

“The chair I was sitting in kind of swayed in a rolling motion and I thought ‘Holy smokes this has got to be an earthquake.”

Maurer said she wasn’t scared so much as curious about it.

“It was a weird experience,” she said. “It wasn’t the first earthquake I have felt but it was certainly the biggest.”

Arlene Veenhof was visiting a friend who lives near Spider Lake when she felt the quake.

“It felt like my chair was rocking,” said Veenhof. “It was a sort of dizzying feeling.”

Veenhof said she timed the earthquake and recorded 40 seconds.

Brenda Boyd said she also felt the quake from the second floor of her Qualicum Beach home.

“I felt it but it was pretty mild,” said Boyd. “I was sitting on the couch with my cat and all of a sudden I felt something and said ‘We’re having an earthquake.'”

Acciavatti said this serves as a good reminder for residents to be aware of earthquakes which are common on Vancouver Island.

Comparitively, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand in 2011 killing 185 people.

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