There are differing accounts of the event's magnitude. Earthquakes Canada puts the magnitude at 4.8. However, the U.S. Geological Survey says the quake registered 5.0 in magnitude.
The earthquake struck at a depth of 19 km around 1:10 p.m. PT according to Earthquakes Canada.
Earthquakes Canada says early reports indicate the quake was not widely felt and there is no danger of a tsunami.
Earthquake latest in a series
Today's shaker is the latest in a series of recent quakes to strike the B.C. coast including a magnitude 4.8 earthquake near Tofino, B.C. Jan 7 that, unlike this one, was widely felt, rattling homes and causing lamps to sway in the Tofino area.
The previous week on Jan 2 and 3rd separate earthquakes of magnitudes 5.2 and 4.5 were reported 200 km off the coast of Port Hardy. Like today's earthquake, neither of these was widely felt.
A swarm of five earthquakes also struck further west of Port Hardy in late December, at depths ranging from 10 to 22 km.
According to the Geological Survey of Canada, these clusters are larger than normal, but not unusual, nor do they effectively increase the risk of the "big one."
Seismologists say these quakes are occurring within the overriding North America plate. These smaller quakes can occasionally be damaging because of their shallower depth.
Experts also say the "big one," a damaging megathrust earthquake, will occur within the Juan de Fuca plate which has become stuck trying to move under the North American plate — a completely different location.