Rare N.S. earthquake reported 200 km offshore

Greg Bennett gbennett@thecoastguard.ca
Published on April 12, 2012
The location of Wednesday nights earthquake was about 200 kilometres southwest of Shelburne.
NSGS map

 There are no reports of damage, and few people even felt a small earthquake that occurred about 200 kilometres south of Yarmouth around 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

According to Natural Resources Canada no damage would be expected. Canadian officials rated the earthquake a magnitude of 4.4.

On Thursday morning the U.S Geological Survey was reporting that some people in the New York area had felt it and at least one person from the Shelburne area had felt the tremor.

RCMP in Shelburne County received no calls in connection with earthquake

The quake happened about 9.8 km below the earth's surface.

 Stephen Halchuk, a Seismologist with Natural Resources Canada said the quake was related to scattered, low-level earthquake activity that sometimes occurs along the continental shelf.

He said the southern coast of Nova Scotia was at the farthest extent he would expect the quake to be felt and he encouraged anyone who did feel the quake to report it on the Natural Resources website at http://www.earthquakescanada.nrcan.gc.ca

 The area where the earthquake happened is not considered an active zone and Halchuk said the event was larger than the average geological activity in the vicinity.

Although Nova Scotia is a relatively quiet earthquake zone, Halchuk noted there have been larger earthquakes reported in the region in the historical past, including much larger ones recorded in the 1700s near the site of the Wednesday’s tremor.

Although a spate of earthquakes were reported in areas across North America on Wednesday, Halchuk said the Nova Scotia tremor was unrelated.