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No Hawaii tsunami threat from quake off of Vancouver

By Associated Press

and Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 11:54 a.m. HST, Sep 9, 2011

VANCOUVER, British Columbia >> A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck off the coast of British Colombia today, the U.S. Geographical Survey said.

The quake struck 9:41 a.m. Hawaii time at depth of 14.3 miles and about 173 miles west of Vancouver. The quake’s epicenter was just off the west coast of Vancouver Island, south of Port Hardy.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said based on historical data, there is no Pacific-wide tsunami threat. Officials said an earthquake of this size could generate a local tsunami. But the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center no tsunami was expected.

The quake was initially reported to have a magnitude of 6.7 but was later downgraded by the USGS.

Stephen Halchuck, a seismologist with Natural Resources Canada, said the quake lasted for 20-30 seconds and rattled buildings across Vancouver Island and the southwest portion of British Columbia. He said there has been no immediate reports of damage in the region.

There were also no immediate reports of damage in the closest parts of Washington state, including the northern tip of the Olympic Peninsula and the San Juan Islands.

As a precaution, the Washington state Transportation Department sent inspectors to check for damage at the Alaskan Way Viaduct, an aging elevated highway on the Seattle waterfront, as well as two other bridges.

Halchuck said he anticipates a number of aftershocks to hit British Columbia but said they will likely be too small in scale to be felt. 

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