4.1 magnitude earthquake near Rocky Mountain House felt as far away as Edmonton | The Canadian News

A chorus of “Did you feel that?” It erupted in homes in central Alberta Wednesday night when a 4.1 magnitude earthquake shook the ground.

The earthquake struck just before 9:30 p.m., about 23 miles northwest of the Rocky Mountain House in Clearwater County.

Kathy Dougall and her husband were inside their RV at the Wilderness Village Resort campground, located about 12 miles northwest of Rocky Mountain House, when their world shook.

“We were sitting in our recliners, watching a movie, when we felt like the whole caravan was shaking just for a second or two,” Dougall said Thursday morning.

“I looked at my husband to see what he was doing with his chair to be so disturbing. And he thought it was me. “

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Once the pair determined it was neither, their thoughts turned to what might be outside. A bear? Naughty friends?

“It really surprised us. I took out our flashlights, looked through all the windows and couldn’t find anything so scared, being a bit isolated here. “

Finally, Dougall searched for “Rocky Mountain House” and “earthquakes.”

“And sure enough, there was activity at the Rocky Mountain House, and there were comments that it went all the way to Edmonton.”

Natural Resources Canada earthquake seismologist Andrew Schaeffer said Alberta experiences a large number of earthquakes, which become more frequent the further west you go.

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“In much of Alberta, in fact, there are very few earthquakes, but as you get closer to the border with British Columbia, the Rocky Mountains, they become more common,” Schaeffer said.

The Rocky Mountain House area in central Alberta has experienced more than 500 earthquakes in the past 30 years, but few would have been strong enough to be felt, he added.

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“More than 400 of these are less than magnitude two or less,” he said.

The largest earthquakes recorded by Earthquakes Canada in the Rocky Mountain House region were three 4.6 magnitude earthquakes: one in 2015 and the other two in 2019.

“There have been about four magnitude four events in the last 30 years, so there have been a few.”

The area sits on the edge of the foothills that build up into the Rocky Mountains. Even though the range is hundreds of millions of years old, Schaeffer said it still has occasional seismic activity.

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And while there are parts of Alberta where there is human-induced seismicity from activities like fracking, Wednesday’s earthquake was natural and occurred 10 kilometers deep in the ground.

“A magnitude four like this is enough to get attention,” he said Thursday morning. “And since the report was released last night, we now have another two hundred reports, so they are certainly quite widespread in this part of Alberta. “

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Schaeffer said that people as far north as Edmonton reported feeling the earthquake, which was not the only one Alberta has experienced this month.

Click to play video: 'Earthquake Detected Near Rocky Mountain House'

Earthquake Detected Near Rocky Mountain House

Earthquake Detected Near Rocky Mountain House

Three earthquakes were reported in October before Wednesday night. A 2.9 magnitude earthquake occurred on October 2 about four kilometers north of Edson.

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On October 5, a 3.9 magnitude earthquake struck about 77 kilometers south of Grande Cache, where three days later a 3.3 magnitude earthquake struck some 73 kilometers northeast of the community.

Since 2010, there have been another 230 earthquakes of varying magnitudes in Alberta.

Click to play video: '3.9 magnitude Banff earthquake' is not unusual 'for Rocky Mountain region: seismologist'

3.9 magnitude Banff earthquake ‘not unusual’ for Rocky Mountain region: seismologist

3.9 magnitude Banff earthquake ‘not unusual’ for Rocky Mountain region: seismologist – Feb 14, 2021

Earthquakes Canada encourages people to report earthquakes through the Did you feel it form on your website.

Schaeffer said the data presented helps scientists map small-scale soil amplification, which ultimately feeds on national seismic hazard models and influences national building codes.

There were no reports of damage from Wednesday’s quake, Earthquakes Canada said.

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– with files from Phil Darlington and Kaylen Small, Global News

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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