Special Reports
Moderately Strong temblor rocks the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, Canada

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October 11, 2001

SAND SPIT, QUEEN CHARLOTTE IS., B.C., CANADA - Preliminary data indicates a moderately strong earthquake registering ML 5.8 (PGC), Ms 5.7 (NEIC), Mw 6.2 (NEIC) occurred at 05:02 October 12 GMT (10:03 p.m., October 11, local time) along the southwest of Moresby Island, but there has been no word of damage or injuries at this time.

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According to the Pacific Geoscience Centre (PGC), Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) in Sidney, British Columbia, the earthquake occurred about 47 miles southwest of Sandspit at the location of 52.6N, 132.2W which is just off the southwestern coast of Moresby Island in the Pacific Ocean. See waveforms: Moresby Island, BC, College, Alaska, Guam, La Paz - note on wave forms: The Queen Charlotte Is. earthquake is the small seismogram in thew center of the image. The larger wave train at the bottom is from the Guam 7.0 earthquake).

The National Earthquake Information Service produced a Moment tensor solution (Mw 6.2) that was significantly higher than the Local Surface wave magnitude (ML 5.8) and Surface wave magnitude (Ms 5.7). Sometimes this is caused by "slow fault ruptures".

The fault plane solution provided by National Earthquake Information Service indicates the quake was caused by thrust (up and over) motion along a northwest trending fault. This suggests the quake did not occur along the Queen Charlotte Fault Zone, a prominent strike-slip fault akin to the San Andreas Fault in California but along the British Columbia coast, but along some other unknown structure probably responsible for the formation f the Queen Charlotte Mountains, a broad mountain belt that essentially extend the entire length of the islands.

The Pacific Geoscience Centre reported the earthquake was widely felt on the Queen Charlotte Islands, and on the mainland at Prince Rupert, Terrace, and Kitimat., British Columbia. John Cassidy of the Pacific Geoscience Centre said pictures were knocked askew but there have been no reports of serious damage at this time.

The quake was too small to generate a tsunami.

The last earthquake felt in this area was a magnitude M6.2 that occurred on February 17, 2001.

This report was updated at: 10:20:36 AM Wednesday, October 31, 2001

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