The Strait of Juan de Fuca about 25 kilometres southeast of Victoria was the epicentre of an earthquake Saturday evening.
The earthquake recorded at 6:43 p.m. registered a magnitude 2.0 on the Richter scale and there were no reports of injuries or notable damage.
But John Cassidy, an earthquake seismologist with National Resources Canada, said on social media that the earthquake represents a “small, friendly and regular reminder” that Greater Victoria lies in an active earthquake zone. A background document from National Resources Canada notes that southwestern British Columbia lies above the boundary between the oceanic Juan de Fuca Plate and the continental North American Plate.
A M~2 earthquake about 25 km to the SE of #Victoria a short time ago (6:43 p.m. PT). A small, friendly and regular reminder of an active earthquake zone.
If you felt slight shaking – please tell us: https://t.co/D3eZJ1aqO0
Earthquakes of SW #BC: https://t.co/wlgp9sbQbN pic.twitter.com/Tae4DBJ35B
— John Cassidy (@earthquakeguy) July 4, 2021
This boundary described as the Cascadia Subduction Zone spanning 1,000 km from northern Vancouver Island to northern California sees the Juan de Fuca Plate descending (or subducting) beneath the North American Plate at roughly the same rate as fingernails grow – about four centimetres per year.
These shifting plates build up stress and earthquakes happen when the stress releases itself along a zone of weakness called a fault, generating measurable seismic waves.
According to National Resources Canada, earthquakes in the subducting Juan de Fuca Plate have been the most frequent type of damaging earthquake in southwestern British Columbia, as evident by the 2001 earthquake that registered a magnitude of 6.8 on the Richter Scale. Widely felt in Victoria and Vancouver, it caused $2 billion (2001 dollars) in damage after strongly shaking Seattle and the Puget Sound area.
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