Small earthquake hits close to Port Hardy

No damage was done - dozens of tiny quakes hit the region every month. This one was just barely big enough for people to feel.

  • Oct. 4, 2015 3:00 p.m.

A small earthquake may have nudged a few Port Hardy residents awake last Thursday.

The 5.7 magnitude quake hit 215 kilometres west of the district at 6:50 Thursday morning.

There have been 56 earthquakes near the town since the start of September—Thursday’s quake was noteworthy only because it was just strong enough for humans to feel it.

Still, even Thursday’s earthquake was no cause for concern, said Bob Hawkins, emergency coordinator for the District of Port Hardy.

“I don’t worry unless it’s over 6.5,” Hawkins said — an earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter Scale is almost 16 times more powerful than the 5.7 registered last week.

“I don’t activate anything here locally unless there’s a significant danger.”

In case of danger, there’s a siren in the Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw Nation that’s audible in part of downtown Port Hardy. Hawkins said the North Island Gazette and the radio station Coast 1240 AM would be called upon to spread the word. There would also be warnings and updates through social media, which Hawkins said was pivotal in any emergency response.

“I usually get emails and texts long before I get anything official,” he said.

Above all, head for higher ground when you feel the earth move — at least 10 metres up from the water at high tide.

Make sure to have an emergency plan in place. Everybody in your family should know how to quickly turn off the water and electricity in your home, and water heaters, fridges, and other big appliances are secured to the wall.

Do the same for other heavy things like big mirrors or TVs — otherwise, they could fall and hurt someone.

Go to getprepared.ca for more tips.