BC Oil and Gas Commission continues to investigate Fort St. John earthquake

The BC Oil and Gas Commission says its continuing its investigation into a series of earthquakes that rattled Fort St. John and the Peace Region on Thursday night.

The estimated 4.5-magnitude earthquake happened around 6:27 p.m., with its estimated epicentre just 16 kilometres southwest of the city, according to Earthquakes Canada.

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A 3.3-magnitude aftershock was recorded at 7:06 p.m., and a second aftershock near magnitude 4 was recorded at 7:15 p.m., located 26 kilometres southeast of Fort St. John.

"Operations in the vicinity were immediately shut in as a precaution and a Commission investigation is being conducted," the Commission said in a statement on Friday.

"Mitigation strategies will be examined and put into place for any operations that are linked to the seismic events."

More information is expected to follow, the Commission said.

Residents across Northeast B.C. reported feeling loud, strong tremors that shook houses for several seconds in Fort St. John, Charlie Lake, Taylor, Chetwynd, Dawson Creek, and Hudson's Hope, and rural communities in between.

Some felt tremors as far away as Pouce Coupe and Baytree, Alberta, and felt reports are coming in as far away as 100 kilometres from the city, seismologists said.

There have been no reports of damage.

Natural Resources Canada has received more than 300 felt reports of the earthquake, and work is underway to review the reports and narrow down the precise cause, said John Cassidy, an earthquake seismologist with Natural Resources Canada.

The earthquake was very shallow, and is currently estimated at a depth of four to five kilometres.

On Friday morning, a 6.6-magnitude earthquake rocked buildings in Anchorage and caused lamp posts and trees to sway, prompting people to run out of offices and seek shelter under office desks, the Associated Press reports.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the earthquake Friday morning was centred about 12 kilometres north of the city.

An Associated Press reporter working in downtown Anchorage saw cracks in a 2-storey building after the quake. It was unclear whether there were injuries.

People went back inside buildings after the earthquake but a smaller aftershock a short time later sent them running back into the streets again.

— with files from the Associated Press

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.

© Copyright Dawson Creek Mirror News


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