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Old 10-28-2012, 03:19 AM
Tsunami Warning for 7.7 Earthquake off B.C. Coast

A 7.7-magnitude earthquake has struck off the British Columbia coast, triggering a tsunami warning for a region stretching from Vancouver Island to Alaska.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck just after 8 p.m. local time about 139 km south of Masset in the Haida Gwaii region, at a depth of about 17 kilometres.

Earthquakes Canada, which initially gave the quake a magnitude of 7.1, said the quake was felt across much of north-central B.C.

The quake was followed by an aftershock measuring 5.8 magnitude, the USGS said.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The quake triggered a tsunami warning from Environment Canada for a region from the north tip of Vancouver Island up to Alaska.

“If you are in a low lying coastal area you are at risk and must move to higher ground or inland now,” the agency said.

“Do not return until directed to do so. Closely monitor local radio stations for additional information from local authorities.”

In a bulletin issued at 9:10 p.m. PT, the U.S. National Weather Service’s West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said that a “small tsunami” was recorded on a deep ocean pressure sensor.

“Those feeling the earth shake, seeing unusual wave action or the water level rising or receding may have only a few minutes before the tsunami arrival and should move immediately,” the bulletin said.

Emergency Info BC warned that a tsunami is a series of waves that “could last several hours.”

B.C. Premier Christy Clark took to Twitter late Saturday to say the agency is monitoring the situation “and the province is prepared to respond as needed.”

Bruce Presgrave of the USGS said a tsunami warning “is pretty much standard procedure” after a 7.7-magnitude quake.

A tsunami could do more damage to the region than the quake itself, he told CTV News.

“A 7.7 is a strong earthquake, capable of producing significant damage or casualties in populated areas,” Presgrave said.

“But as I’m sure you folks know, Haida Gwaii itself is pretty sparsely populated. And even though the West Coast of northern British Columbia there is fairly sparsely populated, the biggest risk could be if a tsunami has been generated.”
First wave about to hit in a few minutes.
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