Skip to content

Anxious hours for Kitamaat Village residents after powerful Alaska earthquake felt in B.C.

The quake registered 125 km SW of Kitimat, 139 km SSE of Prince Rupert, and 172 km SSW of Terrace
An Earthquakes Canada map image shows the pink dot location of a 4.6 magnitude earthquake on the North Coast of BC felt in Prince Rupert and Kitimat on July 28. The yellow dots indicate earthquakes in the last 30 days. (image: Earthquakes Canada)

Kitamaat Village residents had a busy night, forced out of their homes to seek higher ground after an 8.2-magnitude earthquake shook Alaska just after midnight.

According to Andrew Bolton, emergency fire service coordinator for Haisla Nation, Kitamaat Village was evacuated at about 12:30 a.m. Juy 29, affecting 600 people.

Bolton said they did not feel the earthquake but evacuation protocols were activated “just to be on the safer side after community members expressed concerns.”

Residents were able to return to their homes once Emergency Management BC deemed there were no risks of a tsunami.

Earthquakes Canada initially reported a 4.6-magnitude quake in Kitimat late Wednesday, but determined that was a false detection.

The 11:19 p.m. quake was registered 125 km southwest of Kitimat, 139 km southeast of Prince Rupert, and 172 km southwest of Terrace.

The epicentre of the quake was at depth of 10 km and located 95 km to the nearest volcano, Milbanke Sound.

Just four minutes before the Kitimat area earthquake, a 8.2 magnitude quake hit southeast of Chignik Alaska, at a depth of 32 km creating tsunami warnings to Sitka, Alaska.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) issued a warning for the U.S. state of Hawaii and the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

READ MORE: Tsunami warnings 101 - Canada