Earthquake shakes South Okanagan

It wasn't an explosion or a loud snow plow, that shaky feeling some in the South Okanagan felt on Tuesday night was an earthquake.

Natural Resources Canada said there were no reports of damage and none would be expected from the earthquake that was lightly felt in Penticton and Okanagan Falls shortly after 11 p.m. on Tuesday. According to the government Natural Resources Canada website, the earthquake was 2.7 in magnitude and centered 16 kilometres northeast of Oliver. The website also states, "It is very unlikely that an earthquake of magnitude less than five could cause any damage."

However, it did raise quite a few eyebrows from residents nearby. Okanagan Falls Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bob Haddow said fire dispatch sent them a message to respond to an explosion on Oliver Ranch Road and Highway 97 shortly after the tremor.

"No. That was the earthquake we had. People were phoning in that it was an explosion but it was the earthquake. We had a number of calls and contacted dispatch about it," said Haddow.

The fire chief said he felt a loud noise and the house shook a little bit and his first thought was something had hit the house.

Some jumped to the social media application Twitter to find out what was happening. Some people stating they also heard a rumble then the house shook. Others heard their pots clanging or had pictures knocked over in Penticton.

Natural Resources Canada said, on average, the Geological Survey of Canada records and locates over 4,000 earthquakes in Canada each year. This works out to about 11 per day. Of the 4,000, only about 50 (one per week) are generally felt. B.C. is listed as the most likely province in Canada to experience an earthquake.

For more information on earthquakes visit

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