Quake causes rumours in Port

  • Mar. 20, 2013 8:00 a.m.

A small earthquake caused confusion and rumours in Port Clements last week. Harmonie Blais, owner of Harmonie’s Café said while she didn’t feel the earthquake herself on Wednesday (March 13), customers at the café talked about hearing a bang early in the morning Wednesday and were unsure as to the cause. Another Port Clements resident, Ryan Brown said he did feel the quake, and heard the rumours circulating that it had been an explosion and so wasn’t sure what had happened because the information he found online was misleading. “I never really thought of home here as being near the epicentre, I thought earthquakes were closer to the fault lines,” he said. Mr. Brown said he didn’t know what to think of it because it was so short-lived and not at all like the two previous earthquakes. “This was a quick vibration, and an accompanying rumble that I heard, by the time I figured out something was happening it was over.” Earthquake seismologist Alison Bird checked the seismographs of the event and said it was definitely an earthquake. “It was only 4 km deep which is really quite shallow and very close to Port Clements,” she said. Ms Bird said there were actually two earthquakes one at 6:14 and 6:32 am, the first was slightly larger at 1. 9, the other a 1.7. It is not unheard of for people to experience this kind of earthquake as an explosion, she said. “If you are close to an earthquake and it’s shallow especially, you’re going to have more of a sensation of the P-wave, than in many other types of earthquakes.” The p-wave is the primary or pressure wave, and it’s very much like a sound wave, she said, so it’s not surprising that the main sensation was the noise. “Most people describe such earthquakes as being like having a truck come down the road, or a train going by,” Ms Bird said.