Those who live in our Prairie province are surprised by very little, but last night some were pretty shaken up – quite literally.
While no serious damage has been reported as of right now, a potentially record-breaking 5.8 earthquake was recorded in Reno, Alberta – a northwestern hamlet about a half hour from Peace River.
According to Joseph Farrugia, a seismic analyst with Natural Resources Canada, this occurred at 5:55 pm MST on November 29th, 2022 and may have been felt as far south as Calgary and was followed by 6 aftershocks with a magnitude greater than 4.
“For earthquakes this large, the seismic energy that’s generated from these earthquakes can travel great distances,” he told Curiocity, adding that this was likely due to the province’s “simplistic” geography.
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EARTHQUAKE Mag=6.0 on 29 Nov at 17:55 MST.
Details : https://t.co/KBbRh3sXF9
26 km ENE of Reno, AB
172 km ENE of Grande Prairie, AB
— Earthquakes Canada (@CANADAquakes) November 30, 2022
“It’s recorded on seismometers even further away, all over Canada.”
Of note, Earthquakes do happen in Alberta, but they certainly don’t happen often – and are not usually of this size.
Though there’s really no way of knowing if a similar event will occur in the future, tremors of this magnitude are pretty rare, as Farrugia explains.
“They’re very uncommon in Alberta. Let’s say that! Our data set is incomplete simply because these kinds of earthquakes don’t happen frequently.”
— CharHop (@MrsCharHop) November 30, 2022
“Based on what we have, we estimate that the reoccurrence intervals for these periods are about 150 years. These earthquakes are special in that respect and they will be the subject of further research going forward for sure.”
For this reason, it’s important that you prepare yourself – just in case!
“This is the first of this size in this particular area… so I think the best thing to do is get educated,” said Farrugia.
“There are certain things you can do to prepare for an earthquake and things to know and expect so you respond properly.”
These include creating a family earthquake plan and creating a kit, which can be as simple as having a couple of bottles of water, food rations, running shoes and a flashlight – just in case the power goes out; after all, you never know what can happen in Wild Rose Country!
For more detailed information and updates, you can check out the Alberta Geological Survey website – otherwise, be safe, be smart and be prepared. You can never be too careful.