No Washington Damage After 6.4 Vancouver Island Quake

September 12, 2011

A magnitude-6.4 earthquake off Vancouver Island on Friday caused no immediate reports of damage or tsunami concerns.

The quake occurred at a depth of 14.3 miles and was centered 73 miles west-northwest of Ucluelet, a fishing and resort village a little less than halfway up the island’s west coast. It was initially reported as a magnitude-6.7 earthquake but later revised.

“It looks like a quake on a secondary fault – not on the megathrust, which was our big concern,” said John Vidale, director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network at the University of Washington in Seattle. “It’s generating a fair number of aftershocks, but there’s a very small chance this will stimulate activity on the big fault on the coast.”

Gaylene Thorogood, a clerk at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in Ucluelet, said she didn’t even feel the temblor because she was in the building’s basement. Her office received calls from residents who felt it but no reports of damage.

There were also no reports of damage in the nearby town of Tofino, or in the closest parts of Washington state, which include the northern tip of the Olympic Peninsula.

The Washington Transportation Department dispatched inspectors as a precaution to check for damage to the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the aging elevated highway along the Seattle waterfront, as well as the Deception Pass Bridge and the Highway 520 floating bridge across Lake Washington.

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