No damage, no injuries but quake was a big one

  • Jun. 28, 2004 5:00 a.m.

A huge earthquake shook some islanders awake in the early morning hours Monday (June 28), Alex Rinfret writes.
The quake, at a magnitude of 6.7, was the largest one in recent years, said earthquake seismologist Alison Bird at the Geological Survey of Canada. It occurred offshore, north of the islands and west of Alaska’s Prince of Wales Island, at 2:49 am. Reports from people who felt it indicate the shaking lasted between 20 and 45 seconds, Ms Bird said.
“It was a good-sized earthquake,” she said, adding that there were no reports of damage. “I think a few people were quite concerned.”
There was at least one animal fatality: Sheila Scaife of Queen Charlotte called to report that her mom’s ringneck dove died of a heart attack following the quake. Her mom, Marj Burris of Nadu Road, has two nesting cockatiels as well as the dove. Ms Scaife said the birds “went into a complete tizzy, screaming and flapping.” The dove then died.
In Old Massett, Archie Stocker said the quake shook his two-storey house for a good 10 seconds and was strong enough to throw a world globe off the TV onto the floor, denting it. Some pictures and a large book also fell off a shelf.
Ms Bird said the earthquake occurred along the northern part of a faultline which runs right down the west coast of the Charlottes. It’s the same faultline which caused Canada’s largest recorded quake, an 8.1 which rattled the islands in 1949, she said.
Monday’s quake was the same magnitude as one which hit Washington State several years ago and caused some damage to masonry in Olympia and Seattle, Ms Bird said.
She urged any islanders who felt the early morning quake to fill out a report which they can find on the Geological Survey’s web page, at www.pgc.nrcan.gc.ca

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