7.7 quake gives Smithers a shake.

Smithers were given a bit of a shake Saturday evening as a magnitude 7.7 earthquake hit the southwest coast of Haida Gwaii.

Saturday, Oct. 27, residents of the Bulkley Valley, including Smithers were given a bit of a shake as a magnitude 7.7 earthquake  hit the southwest coast of Haida Gwaii.

Buildings from Prince Rupert through to Prince George and south to Quesnel and Williams Lake shook as the earthquake, who’s epicentre was about 139 km south of Old Masset on Haida Gwaii, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, at a depth of 17 kilometres.

There are no reports of significant damage, related to the earthquake, on Haida Gwaii or elsewhere.

Lucas Groves, was working at Season’s in the Valley when the earthquake hit.

“The chandeliers were going back and forth,” he said.

“The chefs were wondering what was happening.”

Danae Harding, was gathering groceries at Safeway when the temblor began.

“The shelves were swaying back and forth,” Harding said.

“I thought someone was trying to push the shelves over, then I saw the signs swinging.

“Everyone just went and stood in the main part at the front, we all had big eyes.”

The West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami warning for a region spanning northern Vancouver Island north to Juneau, Alaska and west to Hawaii.

The tsunami warning was downgraded to an advisory and then eventually called off Sunday at around 3:30 a.m.

Earthquakes Canada, a branch of Natural Resources Canada, recorded many aftershocks in the hours following the earthquake.

More than 40 aftershocks were recorded, with a magnitude of 4 or more, the largest a 6.6 magnitude aftershock at about 11:50 a.m. on Sunday.

Saturday’s earthquake came just nine days after ShakeOut BC’s Drop, Cover, and Hold On day to promote earthquake safety.

Saturday’s earthquake is the second largest in the region after a magnitude 8.1 earthquake off the coast of Haida Gwaii in 1949, according to the United States Geological Survey.


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