Bigger quake did not dry hot springs

  • Nov. 2, 2012 2:00 p.m.

The 1949 earthquake may have been Canada’s largest, but it didn’t dry up the hot springs as the October 27 quake did. The earlier earthquake, on August 22, 1949, was recorded at magnitude 8.1, significantly larger than the 7.7 shaker on October 27. But it didn’t dry up the hot springs. We talked to two residents of Queen Charlotte who remember the 1949 earthquake well, and both say now is the first time they’ve ever heard of the hot springs running dry. “The hot springs did not go dry,” Jimmy Carmichael said, with emphasis. “This is the first time I’ve ever heard of them being dry. I used to run boat around there from Huxley Island. There was no sign of the hot springs going dry or cooling off.” Mr. Carmichael suggests somebody should drill down “to a certain depth” to see if the flow can be restored. Eric Ross also agrees the hot springs did not dry up in 1949. “All the years I’ve been around, this is the first time I’ve heard of the thing going dry,” Mr. Ross said, “I’ve heard of waters low because of the dry weather. But they’ve never gone dry, to my knowledge.” Gwaii Haanas staff say everything was normal at the hot springs on the Thursday before the earthquake. Now, all four pools are bone dry and it’s anybody’s guess if the water is coming back or not.