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Shallow inland Vancouver Island earthquakes drive emergency preparedness reminder

Quakes in the Port Renfrew area coincide with Emergency Preparedness Week
The second earthquake’s impact close to Langford

Shallow inland earthquakes have been registering on southern Vancouver Island, acting as reminders for residents during Emergency Preparedness Week.

Shortly before 9:30 p.m. Sunday (May 7), a 2.1 magnitude quake registered at a depth of 18.6 km near Port Renfrew. It was followed by a quake with a magnitude of 2.3 reported at 9:34 p.m. near Sooke at a depth of 10.7 km.

Two quakes registered at around 10 p.m. near Sooke, one with a magnitude of 0.8 and a depth of 3.9 km and the other at 1.2 with a depth of 3.8 km.

While the quakes were shallow, it was not expected they were felt by residents.

Residents didn’t seem too concerned online. Reddit user Vicsyd said “2.1 is tiny. Usually, you don’t feel them until a (magnitude of) 4, and even then they’re quite common and slight. It really depends on where it was, what type of ground you’re on, what kind of building you’re in, and how deep the quake was. Try not to worry, and if you’re new to the Island it’s probably a great idea to contact your municipality to get the earthquake preparedness guide so you can plan.”

These earthquakes were not only reminders for Islanders but also coincide with Emergency Preparedness Week.

The province recommends knowing first what the hazards are in your community, then building your emergency kit and grab-and-go bag, making your emergency plan, watching the national earthquake early warning system, and if it comes to it – drop, cover, and hold on if you do feel an earthquake.

Black Press Media has an emergency preparedness guide to help Greater Victoria residents be ready for anything from earthquakes to fires. Find the guide online here.

ALSO READ: Be Prepared: Are you ready for the ‘Big One?’

ALSO READ: Be Ready: This local emergency guide could potentially save your life


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A 2.1 magnitude earthquake registered near Port Renfrew shortly before 9:30 p.m. May 7. (Courtesy Volcano Discovery)