Moderate Vancouver Island Earthquake and San Bernardino Earthquake

by DerdriuMarriner

A magnitude 4.3 moderate Vancouver Island earthquake and a magnitude 4.4 moderate San Bernardino earthquake impact the Pacific Northwest before 2015 ends.

Weaker than 1700’s Magnitude 9 Cascadia Subduction Mega-thrust

The magnitude 4.7 Vancouver Island earthquake and the magnitude 4.4 San Bernardino earthquake are deep enough to cause no casualties and to generate no tsunamis, according to announcements on Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015.

Earthquakes Canada broadcasts the earthquake of 11:39 p.m. Pacific Standard Time at 4.3, then 4.7 magnitude, lower than the U.S. Geological Survey determination of magnitude 4.8. Earthquakes Canada confirms the ten-second earthquake’s epicenter as 19 kilometers (11.81 miles) northeast of the capital city, Victoria, and 8 kilometers (4.97 miles) east-southeast of Sidney. Twitter’s eyewitness tweets describe the no-casualties, no-injuries impacts of rattling windows, shaking houses, and shifting ground from Vancouver Island to Chilliwack, Kelowna, Maple Ridge, and Penticton.

BC Hydro effectuates undisrupted electrical system service.

1946 Vancouver Island earthquake

Soil failure north of Campbell River on Kelsey Bay Highway
Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Hazard Information Service - Earthquakes Canada: Damage photographs from the M7.3 Van
Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Hazard Information Service - Earthquakes Canada: Damage photographs from the M7.3 Van

Weaker than 1946’s Magnitude 7.3 Vancouver Island Earthquake


Seismologists with Earthquakes Canada and Natural Resources Canada find the earthquake occurring at a below-surface depth of 58.7 kilometers (36.48 miles) under the Strait of Georgia.

John Cassidy, Natural Resources Canada seismologist and Sidney resident, gives importance to geology: “These deep earthquakes tend to have very few or, most often, no aftershocks.” He also holds that surfaces matter: “Most likely, people on soil will feel stronger shaking that will continue for a longer time period, compared to rock.”

Alison Bird, Earthquakes Canada seismologist and Vancouver resident, indicates depth’s importance in geo-physical terms since the offshore Juan de Fuca oceanic plate rarely generates major aftershocks. She judges clicking Earthquakes Canada’s “Did you feel it?” button as particularly important. 


ShakeMap for Vancouver Island, British Columbia, earthquake, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015

Pacific Northwest Seismic Network
Pacific Northwest Seismic Network

ShakeMap for San Bernardino County, California, earthquake, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015

California Integrated Seismic Network
California Integrated Seismic Network

Weaker than 1949’s Magnitude 8.1 Queen Charlotte Earthquake


Seismologists with the U.S. Geological Survey know of more than 11,000 reports by residents of feeling the impact of British Columbia’s quake throughout northwest Washington state.

Seattle’s KOMO-TV lets Pacific Northwesterners know of the impact of the Vancouver Island earthquake upon the state through broadcasts of eyewitness accounts from Seattle area residents. Keller Lambton of Anacortes, Washington, mentions that “All of a sudden, my whole house was out of control” and that “It woke up the whole neighborhood.”

USGS seismologists note the same-day, 3-mile-deep (4.83-kilometer-deep), magnitude 4.4 San Bernardino earthquake near Cucamonga, San Andreas, and San Jacinto Faults at 5:48 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. The epicenter originates 2.48 miles (4 kilometers) outside Devore in San Bernardino County. 


Seattle, Washington earthquake, March 4, 2001 -- A large van was crushed by earthquake debris in a Seattle parking lot

FEMA Photo Library
FEMA Photo Library

Weaker than 2001’s Magnitude 6.8 Seattle, Washington Earthquake


San Bernardino’s evening earthquake provokes magnitude 3.2 and 3.8 aftershocks within the first minutes and a dozen tiny tremors until just before Vancouver Island’s night-time earthquake.

Officials qualify the San Bernardino and Vancouver Island earthquakes as wake-up calls because of respective proximity to the mega-earthquake-producing San Andreas Fault and Cascadia Subduction Zone. No extreme aftereffects remain other than news of Metro Vancouver’s SkyTrain Expo and Millennium lines’ 90-minute-long shutdown to verify the guideway’s safety and tweets of temblors. Brett Gilley, national disaster instructor at the University of British Columbia, states: “I expect businesss will be selling earthquake kits today and that’s a good thing.”

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson tweets for “your family and business to be ready.” 


Strongest Earthquake In Years Hits Victoria Area Of British Columbia Felt By Hundreds Of Thousands

Published on Dec 31, 2015 by wwwMOXNEWScom ~ URL:



My special thanks to talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the internet.


FEMA poster 529 (9/2014) depicts a teacher and students in a classroom responding appropriately to first sign of an earthquake (Drop, Cover, and Hold On).

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and NEHRP (National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program)
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and NEHRP (National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program)

Sources Consulted


Chan, Kenneth. 29 December 2015. “(UPDATED) Magnitude 4.3 Earthquake Felt in Vancouver.” VanCity Buzz > Trending.

  • Available @

Crawford, Tiffany. 30 December 2015. “Moderate Earthquake That Struck Near Saanich Felt Across Lower Mainland.” The Vancouver Sun > News.

  • Available @

“Did You Feel It? 4.3 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Near Victoria, B.C.” Kiro TV > News > December 30, 2015.

  • Available @

Edmiston, Jake; and Postmedia News. 30 December 2015. “B.C. Earthquake Shakes Victoria and Vancouver Area: Buildings Rattle But No Damage Reported.” National Post > News > Canada.

  • Available @

“Here’s a Look at 5 of the Largest Earthquakes to Strike B.C.” Global News > Canada > December 30, 2015.

  • Available @

Leung, Roberta. 30 December 2015. “Magnitude 4.3 Earthquake Felt off B.C.’s Coast.” FigMedia > News.

  • Available @ 

Lum, Zi-Ann. 30 December 2015. “Victoria Earthquake Callers Prompt Police to Issue PSA About Using 911.” The Huffington Post > Edition> Canada > British Columbia.

  • Available @

“Magnitude-4.4 Earthquake Shakes Southern California Suburbs.” Globe Gazette > News > National > December 30, 2015.

  • Available @

McElroy, Justin; and Talmazan, Yuliya. 30 December 2015. “No Damage, Injuries Reported After Earthquake Rattles B.C.’s South Coast.” Global News > Canada > British Columbia.

  • Available @ 

Nagel, Jeff. 30 December 2015. “Earthquake Jolts B.C., Lights up Social Media.” Tri-City News > News.

  • Available @ 

“No Damage After Moderate Earthquake Strikes B.C.’s South Coast.” CTV News > December 30, 2015.

  • Available @ 

“Quake of 4.8 Magnitude Hits Near Vancouver Island, Felt on North Olympic Peninsula.” Peninsula Daily News > News > December 30, 2015.

  • Available @

The Canadian Press. 30 December 2015. “Homes Shake, Residents Unnerved, But No Damage from Moderate B.C. Quake.” Yahoo! News Network > Yahoo News Canada.

  • Available @

Thompson, Jerry. 2011. Cascadia’ Fault: The Earthquake and Tsunami That Could Devastate North America. Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint Press. 

Matheson, Darcy Wintonyk; and Weichel, Andrew. 30 December 2015. “Overnight Quake the Strongest Felt in 14 Years on B.C.’s South Coast.” CTV News Vancouver > News.

  • Available @


In early morning hours, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015, transit security officers make rounds outside of Vancouver, B.C.'s Commercial-Broadway Skytrain station, checking for possible damage to elevated guideways from Tuesday night's earthquake.

FirstOnSite tweets Jan. 4, 2016: "Vancouver had a shaky end to 2015 when a 4.7 magnitude #earthquake hit the west coast: via @globeandmail"
image by Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press, tweeted by FirstOnSite, 12:57 PM - 4 Jan 2016
image by Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press, tweeted by FirstOnSite, 12:57 PM - 4 Jan 2016
the end which is also the beginning
the end which is also the beginning

Me and my purrfectly purrfect Maine coon kittycat, Augusta "Gusty" Sunshine

Gusty and I thank you for reading this article and hope that our product selection interests you; Gusty Gus receives favorite treats from my commissions.
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
DerdriuMarriner, All Rights Reserved
Updated: 10/16/2021, DerdriuMarriner
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DerdriuMarriner on 08/04/2017

frankbeswick, Is it a case of the unknown earthquake casualty or is the person's name known? I've been through two, one in Utah and another in Virginia (about which I wrote for Wizzley). In both cases, the floor moved back and forth quickly under my feet, almost like the experience of skating backward and forward.

frankbeswick on 08/01/2017

Britain does not suffer very bad quakes, I have only personally experienced three, the worst being a magnitude 2, which was part of an earthquake cluster of mainly magnitude ones, though we have had larger. No one was hurt, in fact Britain's recorded death toll from quakes is one, in the eighteenth century.

Cumbre Vieja will cause Atlantic-wide problems, but when we don't now. However, by the time the wave hits Britain it will have diminished in size, and it is Eastern America that will take the brunt. Our South Coast has cliffs that can take a direct hit. But any tsunami coming from the South West will vary in its effects according to the varying sea bed and coastal conditions that it meets on its way.

DerdriuMarriner on 08/01/2017

frankbeswick, Yikes! I hope that the United Kingdom has effective earthquake and tsunami preparedness.
Speaking of Krakatoa, did you know that some scientists believe that the sky in Edvard Munch's The Scream art work reflects the influence of that volcanic eruption on Oslo's skies? There's a recent alternate interpretation of it as mother-of-pearl cloud configurations in an article by Mariëtte Le Roux, Weird Clouds May Have Inspired 'The Scream,' for Phys.Org April 24, 2017.

frankbeswick on 07/29/2017

It is not widely known that the tsunami from Krakatoa hit Britain. Ok, by that time it was 4 centimetres high, but it was measured. I have thought about the issue and am concerned that any shock might cause Cumbre Vieja, a volcanic island off Africa, to have a submarine landslide, which will cause tsunamis to hit the Eastern USA and the coast of Britain.Some time in the next ten thousand years it will happen, but I can wait. But it could happen any time, and I have a daughter who dwells near the coast in West Britain.

DerdriuMarriner on 07/29/2017

frankbeswick, Amen! It's a scary scenario if all the weak points from coastal and offshore Canada, the United States and Mexico become actively problematic at the same time and if area nuclear power stations find their back-ups failing like Fukushima's did.

frankbeswick on 07/29/2017

A mega-quake would have repercussions across the whole Pacific region, possibly with world wide implications.

DerdriuMarriner on 07/28/2017

CruiseReady, The truly scary version is a mega-earthquake that runs from coastal North America down through Central America!

CruiseReady on 07/27/2017

Amazing information, DerdriuMarriner ! I never would have guessed those areas as quake prone, either. (An uncle and aunt lived through the Alaska one when I was quite young.) Hopefully, one day, we'll find out how to predict the big ones ahead of bime. It's their sudden and unforecast onset that makes them far more terrifying than hurricanes, I think.

DerdriuMarriner on 01/07/2016

blackspanielgallery, Most geophysicists did not think of Vancouver and the Pacific Northwest as other than a seismically quiet area until geologists who were not trained in earthquakes but who brought a fresh look to their study started examining the great Alaska and Mexico earthquakes of the previous century. Now they're all talking about when the Cascadia Subduction Zone is going to produce the Big One and whether it will be a partial or a full rupture with the latter possibly involving faults from California through Central America.

blackspanielgallery on 01/01/2016

I have never guessed Vancouver has earthquakes.

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