PORT HARDY, B.C. — Glass rattled, buildings swayed, but no damage was reported on northern Vancouver Island after a magnitude 6.6 earthquake hit off the northern coast of Vancouver Island on Wednesday at 8:11 p.m.
Additional smaller aftershocks — the latest at 5:07 a.m. today — struck the same location, about 245 miles northwest of the Olympic Peninsula.
Canadian Press reported the epicenter to be in the ocean about 60 miles southwest of Port Hardy and striking at a depth of 10 miles.
Emergency dispatchers on the Peninsula logged no reports of anyone calling in after 8:11 p.m. to say they felt the main temblor. A magnitude 6.6 quake can cause severe damage, according to the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network at the University of Washington.
Emergency Management B.C. and the U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska, both reported there was no tsunami warning for the West Coast.
Port Hardy Mayor Bev Parnham said provincial Lt. Gov. Judith Guichon was greeting senior citizens at the Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre, an interpretive center and fish hatchery, when the first earthquake hit.
"Somebody said, 'Oh, earthquake,' and of course we then all felt it, and you definitely knew you were in an earthquake," said Parnham.
"I don't think there was even enough time to really comprehend because it was very short, like it was strong but it was very short, short-lived, and I think by the time it actually registered in your mind, this is what was happening, you know, it was over."
She said there was no panic, people remained calm, and after the quake ended she left to ensure none of the community's infrastructure was damaged. She said public works officials went out to check.
"I think that the honorable lieutenant governor will remember Port Hardy," said Parnham.
Earthquakes are common off the Washington and British Columbia coast, where the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate meets the Pacific tectonic plate. Because they strike in the deep ocean, few are large enough to be felt by humans.
The Associated Press, Canadian Press, Victoria News (a sister newspaper of the Peninsula Daily News) and former PDN reporter Keven Drews from Vancouver, B.C., contributed to this report.