M3.6 earthquake jolts Vancouver Island, wakes residents up

·2 min read
M3.6 earthquake jolts Vancouver Island, wakes residents up

An earthquake struck off the British Columbia coast early Friday morning, registering with a preliminary 3.6 magnitude, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

The tremor occurred 45 kilometres southwest of Vancouver at a depth of 17 kilometres.

Effects were reported by eyewitnesses on social media shortly after the tremor struck at 4:13 a.m. local time.

December 17, 2021: Earthquake strikes Vancouver Island, B.C.
December 17, 2021: Earthquake strikes Vancouver Island, B.C.

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“Woke me up. Felt that over in Cobble Hill, B.C.,” wrote Twitter user, Peter Harvey.

Lisa Ochsner, another Twitter user said, “Woke up. In James Bay, Victoria.”

Quakes of this strength aren't uncommon in the area. B.C. and the U.S. Pacific Northwest are some of the most earthquake-prone parts of North America, and B.C. itself sees more earthquakes in a year than all the rest of Canada combined.

That's because the region is part of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, where the Juan de Fuca plate is descending beneath, or "subducting," the much larger North American plate. From time to time one plate will stick to another, causing a buildup of pressure that is released as earthquakes.

While shaking is often felt on parts of Vancouver Island, the shaking from Friday's tremor was felt on the mainland as well, at least according to one eyewitness report.

Did you feel the earthquake? Tweet us @WeatherNetwork and let us know!

WATCH BELOW: HOW A "BIG ONE" EARTHQUAKE COULD IMPACT VANCOUVER

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