A small earthquake is what is believed to be behind a report of a possible natural gas explosion on Friday morning in Penticton.
“It looks like it was probably related to that seismic event,” said deputy fire chief Dave Spalding. “We canvassed the whole area and the streets surrounding and found nothing.”
The call originally came in from the RCMP who called dispatch to say there was a possibly explosion and maybe natural gas on Wilton Crescent. Spalding said there was no gas seen and no smell, but that is what they assumed because of the reports made. As it turned out the earthquake caused the rumble, not a gas explosion.
Alison Bird, seismologist from Natural Resources Canada, said the earthquake occurred about 17 kilometres west of Penticton and was a magnitude 2.
“It was felt in Penticton, Naramata and a couple other close-by communities. It is not really threatening in any way to cause damage, just a lot of people felt it. Apparently it made a lot of noise so a lot of people thought it might be an explosion and it was only later they realized it was an earthquake,” said Bird.
The seismologist said there are a lot of factors that determine if an earthquake would cause damage.
“It would have to be right on top to even get damages, and say 3.5 or 4. Usually you don’t see damage until you get a lot higher at magnitude 5 or so and it depends on what kind of ground you are on and the buildings, that sort of thing,” she said.
The fire department did not receive any other dispatches other than a person calling from Kaleden to say they had felt a seismic event.