Giant quake felt as far away as Chetwynd

Naomi Larsen, Chetwynd Echo Editor
 
CHETWYND – The 7.7 magnitude earthquake that hit the Queen Charlotte Islands/Haida Gwaii shortly after eight o’clock Saturday evening caused quite the ripple effect with tremors being felt as far away as the Pine Pass and Peace area.
 
Here in Chetwynd dozens of people reported feeling the swaying with momentary loss of balance, swinging lights and rattling cabinet contents.
 
“I was sitting on the couch kind of sideways and was rocking back and forth thinking, “weird I must be getting sick or something,” Rodeo Subdivision resident Raelene Belcher said. “I turned around and my lights were swinging.
 
Walking was a little weird. It was like being on a boat in the ocean, almost a rolling feeling. Went on for a little over a minute I would say.”
 
Social media was ablaze with quake updates and home videos showing the effects.
 
The quake is being reported as one of the biggest in Canadian history and triggered tsunami warnings along the BC coast and as far away as Hawaii.
 
The largest wave associated with the quake hit Langara Island, a northern Haida Gwaii island, and measured just 69 centimetres.
 
Following the initial quake and more than 40 aftershocks varying in intensity from 4.3 to 5.4, another 6.4 magnitude struck Sunday.
 
There appeared to be no injuries or significant damage from any of the quakes.
 
“It looks like the damage and the risk is at a very low level,” Justice Minister Shirley Bond said just after 11 p.m.
 
By 3 a.m. the advisory was called off for all areas of coastal BC.
 
In an interview with provincial media Carol Kulesha, mayor of Queen Charlotte City, said they “missed the bullet.”
 
“We’re very, very fortunate. We’re taking it as a good opportunity to practice for something more severe.”