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Four regions rattled by earthquakes


Magnitude 6.0 quake struck off the coast of Cuba
Magnitude 6.0 quake struck off the coast of Cuba

Andrea Stockton, staff writer

September 15, 2011 — Within about an hour's time, four earthquakes struck four different regions Thursday.

Japan is showing signs of progress after the devastating quake in March
Japan is showing signs of progress after the devastating quake in March

California

At 2:56 am local time, a magnitude 3.5 earthquake rattled southern California. Hundreds of people in the area reported feeling very light shaking including in Los Angeles and Orange County. Officials say there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

Cuba

The US Geological Survey (USGS) registered a magnitude 6.0 earthquake off the coast of Cuba. At 4:43 local time, the quake rattled an area southeast of Havana. Because of its remoteness, no damage was expected and no tsunami warnings were issued. Geophysicists say earthquakes are common in that area of the sea.

Japan

A magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck off Japan's coast Thursday. The quake was centred off the coast of Ibaraki, which is about 220 km east of Tokyo. There were no immediate reports of damage and there was no risk of a tsunami either. It was on March 11 when a massive earthquake and tsunami devastated the region. The magnitude 9.0 earthquake was the strongest to hit the country, but now, six months later, there are signs of progress.

Vancouver

A weak earthquake was felt across northern Vancouver at 4:02 local time, Thursday morning. The magnitude 4.1 quake hit off the northwest coast of the Island and was felt in Washington, Oregon and northern California. It was the same area that was jolted last Friday. A magnitude 6.4 quake struck just south of Port Hardy, but no injuries or damage was reported and a tsunami warning wasn't issued.

“To get a tsunami we need to disrupt the ocean floor,”explained Dr. Brent Ward, an Earth Sciences Professor at Simon Fraser University. “The fault actually has to move the sea floor (and cause displacement).”

The province regularly participates in emergency simulations with other earthquake-prone areas, including California, and an organization called ShakeOut holds an annual earthquake drill so individuals will know how to respond when quakes do strike.

With files from The Associated Press

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