B.C. earthquake gives Pacific tsunami warning system a workout

DART® (Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis) monitoring buoy
This monitoring buoy is one of dozens positioned at strategic locations throughout the Pacific and Indian oceans to help authorities forecast tsunamis. Photo: NOAA.

An earthquake off the coast of British Columbia on Saturday night gave the international tsunami warning system a workout. Fortunately, no big, damaging waves developed. The strong earthquake(7.7 magnitude) shook the Queen Charlotte Islands Saturday night just after 8 p.m. The earthquake–at a depth of 3 miles and centered 96 miles south of Masset, B.C.– triggered tsunami warnings for coastal British Columbia, Alaska and Hawaii. No impact was reported to Washington’s coast. The location of the earthquake is where two tectonic plates — the Pacific and the North America plates — meet and raise the risks of large, damaging earthquakes that could cause widespread damage in western Washington.

The weekend’s earthquake and resulting tsunami warning come just 10 days after the regional Great Shakeout earthquake drill on October 18. More than 700,000 Washington residents were signed up to participate in the awareness-raising drills, which included tsunami warning siren tests along Washington State’s outer coast.

DNR works with federal, other state and local authorities to map tsunami and earthquake risks. Here’s how to access our free maps and a smartphone app. dedicated to tsunami safety. Learn more about tsunamis.

Follow DNR on: Facebook Fan See us on Flickr Watch us YouTube Follow us on Twitter Follow DNR Fire Twitter