Monday, October 29, 2012

Aftershocks from Saturday night's 7.7 earthquake continue along Haida Gwaii

24 Hours after Saturday night's 7.7 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Haida Gwaii, the Islands continue to feel the after affects, with more than 50 after shocks rumbling across the islands since the large temblor hit.

The range of the major after shocks went from 4.0 to a high of 6.3 the latter rattling nerves shortly before the noon hour on Sunday.

In addition to those after shocks, two earth quakes were felt further to the east of the initial cluster, moving into the Hecate Strait side of the Islands, where  two shocks registering 4.1 were recorded in mid Sunday afternoon (see here and here).

There were numerous other after shocks of less intensity, which perhaps takes the amount of seismic activity in the region beyond the 100 incident mark in just the last 24 hours.

Needless to say, the events of Saturday night pretty well dominated conversation across the region, with no shortage of Ruperties finding their words dispatched to media outlets across British Columbia and further afield in North America.

Councillor Kinney's commentary of Saturday night for the Vancouver Province on the nature of the earthquake received a reprise on the Global BC News website (view here), while  some video of local residents commenting on the events of the night were also posted to the Global site (view here)

Newspapers across North America picked up a variety of stories from the North coast, a television station in Minnesota providing some quotes from a variety of local residents, including the City of Prince Rupert's Rudy Kelly.

The Prince Rupert based Northern View also had some background on Saturday's quake and the aftershocks that have followed.

The Vancouver Sun featured comments from a wider range of British Columbians stretching from Haida Gwaii through to the BC Interior.

Sunday night the CBC National News turned its attention to the day after the large seismic event on Haida Gwaii, sending Alan Waterman to Prince Rupert to gauge the level of concern from Saturday's quake.

Waterman talked with Prince Rupert Fire Chief Dave McKenzie, who outlined how communications lines at times became congested as people took to their cel phones and devices to seek out further information.

The Port's Michael Gurney was featured on the topic of the closure of operations at the Port's facilities both on the waterfront and at Ridley Island, while other citizens offered up some of their thoughts in the usual person in the street interviews that take place at these times.

Some of whom expressed concern over the lack of information in the city regarding the emergency and how they scrambled to try and find out anything about the earthquake and the potential for a tsunami.

CBC Anchor Wendy Mesley picked up on that theme with some tough questioning of the Emergency  Management spokesperson, wondering why American residents had been warned of the potential of a tsunami a full hour before Canadian officials outlined the risk.

The Emergency Management spokesperson offered up the thought that the provincial agency was pleased overall with the response to the incident, suggesting that the actual event of the earthquake was in effect the warning, with residents expected to "drop, cover, Hold on and then move to higher ground when safe".

That talking point didn't seem to reassure Ms. Wesley who again sought further information on the procedure in place for notification, wrapping up what appeared to be a rather uncomfortable interview with the question if anything was learned from Saturday night's event.

Judging by her reaction to the answer, Ms. Wesley once again she didn't seem particularly reassured that the Emergency Measures Organization understood her concern on the issue and timeline of the notification.

You can view the entire Newscast from this link to the CBC website, the earthquake review starts at the eight minute, forty second mark

That theme of notification and response to the incident would again come up on the CTV Late Night News out of Vancouver, where a string of reports from Masset, Tofino and Port Alberni outlined the activities in those communities during the situation.

Tofino seemingly is the only community that utilizes an emergency siren system, with the sirens alerting their residents to seek out higher ground as the warning of a potential tsunami was received.

Port Alberni which apparently has the sirens, did not however activate their sirens on Saturday, despite the history that community has had with tsunami's, in particular the large Alaskan quake of 1964 which sent water rushing up the inlet into their community causing widespread damage.

The CTV BC coverage can be found here, here, here and here.

The topic of alerts and emergency information delivery may make for an interesting discussion in Prince Rupert in the days following Saturday's event, Prince Rupert once had sirens in place for such things, rarely used as they were, they were disconnected and taken down a number of years ago.

Considering the concern over the events of the weekend, sirens and other forms of communicating important notices may become a popular talking point again in the city.

Especially if the after shocks, which are expected to continue through the week, continue to provide for the occasional jolt or bump in the night.

Other items from our coverage of the 7.7 earthquake on Haida Gwaii can be found here.

Update: Local media outlets had some further information about Saturday night's Haida Gwaii quake.

The Northern View-- Lack of warning worries Prince Rupert
CBC Daybreak North-- After the Earthquake: questions and surprise (audio) (video)
CFTK-- Rupert Earthquake Damage (video)
CFTK-- Haida Gwaii Earthquake Reax (video)
CFTK-- CMSD Quake Checks (video)
KRBD Ketchikan-- Southeast responds to Tsunami warning
KRBD Ketchikan-- Large Quake hits B. C., POW outer coast warned

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