Editor’s note: Vancouver Island’s last major earthquake was in January 1700 and measured +9 on the richter scale. Earthquakes of this magnitude occur roughly every 500 years (but could be as little as 200 years or as much as 1,000 years – Dr. Gerard Fryer, University of Hawaii). The largest local earthquake in more historic times only measured 7.3 and occurred in 1946. The epicentre was Cumberland, Union Bay and Courtenay, where 75% of the chimneys crumbled, but building swayed as far away as Vancouver. There were reports from Campbell River, Powell River and on Cortes, Quadra and Read Islands.
By Melissa Renwick, Ha-Shilth-Sa, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Deep under the ocean’s surface off the west coast of Vancouver Island lies a mountain range of around 50 underwater volcanoes – measuring from 1,000 to 3,000 metres high.
These seamounts, as they’re more accurately named, are the reason earthquakes and tsunamis threaten British Columbia’s coast, said Cherisse Du Preez, head of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s (DFO) deep-sea ecology program.
Continue reading West coast expedition explores deep-sea habitat never seen before