Canada - 3 mild earthquakes in Alberta's Peace River region felt as far away as Edmonton

Canada - 3 mild earthquakes in Alberta's Peace River region felt as far away as Edmonton

Earthquakes Canada

Seismic activity reported Thursday within 50 kilometres of 5.1 magnitude earthquake reported last year

Three mild earthquakes Thursday morning in the Peace River region of northwestern Alberta were felt as far away as Edmonton.

Preliminary numbers from Earthquakes Canada say a quake with a magnitude of 4.5 was recorded southeast of the town of Peace River at 8:46 a.m. MT.

It was followed by a 4.6-magnitude quake at 8:50 a.m. and a third at 9:07 a.m. with a magnitude of 3.8, Earthquakes Canada said. 

All three events were centred in an area 20 to 35 kilometres northeast of the hamlet of Reno. The hamlet is 45 kilometres southeast of Peace River.

The first earthquake occurred at a depth of one kilometre, while the second and third were five kilometres below the surface, Earthquakes Canada said.

Each was "lightly felt," the agency said. It said it had not received any reports of damage.

In November, a series of seismic events that included a magnitude 5.1 earthquake was reported within 50 kilometres of the activity on Thursday.

Andrew Schaeffer, a seismologist with Natural Resources Canada, said more research is required to determine the cause of the earthquakes.

"​​There's the potential that these could be continued delayed aftershock sequence from the November event. They could be separate events on their own," Schaeffer said. 

In a statement, the Alberta Energy Regulator confirmed it is aware of the seismic activity. 

"The Alberta Geological Survey (AGS), a branch of the AER, is investigating to determine cause, as well as any possible connection to seismic events which occurred in the area in November 2022, the AER said.

Corinna Williams, the reeve of Northern Sunrise County where the epicentre was located, said the recent seismic activity has sparked conversations about emergency planning. 

"It's something that we're definitely having discussions [about] and it's top of mind, especially for our protected services," Williams said.

Northern Sunrise Protective Services shared earthquake safety tips Thursday.

Williams said she is concerned about the effect earthquakes could have on community infrastructure. 

"It is something we could definitely bring forward in the light of how can it [earthquakes] be brought into planning. Is it something that we need to now start taking consideration of?"

'Dishes rattling'

Schaeffer said with the magnitude between 4 and 5, light to moderate shaking would be expected in the region.

Sharon Taylor was about 500 kilometres away in her Edmonton apartment building when she felt a few seconds of shaking.

"I looked across the room because I could hear dishes rattling in my china cabinet and it was moving a little bit," Taylor said.

"I wasn't concerned about it. But, you know, you're just kind of sitting there wondering, OK, is that going to get worse?"

Schaeffer expects there to be more seismic activity in the coming days.

"I would anticipate that the events will be smaller. That's how the standard aftershock relationship works," he said.

CBC News

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