Earthquake shakes Masset, but not much

  • Mar. 23, 2009 3:00 p.m.

Several Masset residents felt a small earthquake which shook the town for about three seconds early Monday afternoon. “It was just a very mild shaking. The glasses in the cupboard rattled,” said Margo Hearne. “It was kind of exciting.” The quake occurred at 1:30 pm and its epicentre was just 15 kilometres southwest of Masset. At G.M. Dawson high school, principal Lorrie Joron said half the students didn’t even notice the tremor, but it was evident in her office. She was sitting on a chair with wheels which skidded briefly across the floor. “I actually heard a thud,” she said. “I went on the PA system afterwards and said, ‘That was an earthquake we just had.’ We felt it.” Another Masset resident, Mike McLeod, said he felt a bang and then his house shaking. “I thought it was the wind at first, because it was like a sudden shock wave and when it’s windy we can feel the house shake,” he said. “It sure does make you feel how small and insignificant we actually are compared to the power of the earth.” Some people wondered if the quake had anything to do with a volcano which erupted just a few hours earlier near Anchorage, Alaska. Alison Bird, an earthquake seismologist at the Pacific Geoscience Centre in Sidney, said no. “That had absolutely nothing to do with it,” she said. Ms Bird said it is routine to have small earthquakes in this area. Monday’s quake, at magnitude 2.9, was not a large one but it was felt by residents because the epicentre was so close to Masset, and because it was shallow, she explained.