Saskatchewan Earthquake Traps Miners Underground

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YORKTON SASKATCHEWAN EARTHQUAKE
A map from Earthquakes Canada shows the location of the earthquake's epicentre. | Earthquakes Canada
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ROCANVILLE, Sask. — Some people were shaken awake and some miners stuck underground in southeast Saskatchewan when a magnitude 3.8 earthquake hit early Monday morning.

Earthquakes Canada said it happened around 4:40 a.m., and was centred about 32 kilometres east-southeast of Yorkton.

The Potash Corp. mine near Rocanville, Sask., had to switch to backup power when a power outage occurred.

40 people stuck underground

However, that wasn't enough to run the hoists so about 40 people were stuck underground for a while.

Randy Burton of Potash Corp. said the people underground went to refuge stations with power, air, and water until the power came back on.

The workers were then slowly brought back up to the surface — the last person coming up at about 11:30 a.m.

The company hasn't sent crews back down since, but it's not because of the outage.

"We're just starting our annual maintenance shut down, so this happened just by coincidence at the same time,'' said Burton.

Nobody hurt

Everyone was alright after the incident, and Burton said there was no damage to the mine.

SaskPower reported a widespread outage in the area that impacted Moosomin, Rocanville, Whitewood, Esterhazy, Stockholm and Wapella. The company said the quake caused problems at a switching station, taking out power to about 2,000 residential customers.

This isn't the first time an earthquake has been felt in the area. According to Natural Resources Canada, there have been 12 earthquakes in the region at magnitude 3.0 or higher since 1981.

(CJME)

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