According to Earthquakes Canada, a minor earthquake was detected in southeastern Saskatchewan, approximately 32 kilometres southeast of Yorkton.
The 3.8 magnitude quake happened early Monday at 4:40 a.m. CT.
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According to seismologist Dr. Honn Kao with the Geological Survey of Canada, close to a dozen people reported feeling the quake, but there were no reports of significant damage or injuries.
“A magnitude 3.8 earthquake is considered to be a small event,” he said.
“However, it was definitely felt by the local community.”
The seismologist explained that this particular earthquake occurred in a place that is considered to be relatively seismically inactive, compared to the West Coast, which is said to have the highest seismic risk.
“The Prairie area is considered to be much less in terms of seismic activity, nevertheless this particular region has historically had some events,” Kao said.
“None of the events were big and this particular earthquake is consistent with that pattern.”
Despite inactive seismic activity, Kao explained the area is not immune to earthquakes.
“We had historically quite a number of earthquakes in that general area so it’s not a total surprise to us that we actually observed an earthquake in that region this morning,” he said.
There have been 11 similarly sized earthquakes in the same region since 1981, according to Natural Resources Canada.
Kao explained earthquakes are caused by tectonic stress accumulation. He said it is difficult to point out exactly what the cause was, but said generally speaking, tectonic stress accumulation is the ultimate cause of earthquakes in the region.
“Earthquakes are caused by slip motion along faults. In general, if you have a place where you have accumulated tectonic stress, then you can have earthquakes occurred along faults.”
A number of communities in the region experienced a power outage between 4:40 and 6:30 a.m.
SaskPower has confirmed the outage was due to the quake.
“An earthquake in the Yorkton region… [resulted] in a power outage to customers served by the Tantallon substation,” SaskPower spokesperson Heather Johnson said.
Affected areas included Esterhazy, Gerald, Stockholm, Wapella, Fairlight, Flemming, Red Jacket, Welwyn, Ryerson areas, as well as feeds into the Melville district which include Stockholm, Grayson, Dubuc and surrounding areas.