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Rock blasting at quarry the reason behind large vibration

If you felt or heard a large rattling on Monday afternoon, you weren’t alone.
A large blast at a rock quarry operated by CJ Contracting just outside of town was the reason residents felt a large vibration on Monday afternoon. Photo courtesy of Daron Letts

If you felt or heard a large rattling on Monday afternoon, you weren’t alone.

NNSL Media’s office received multiple reports from residents that said they felt an earthquake-like vibration and sounds at around 1 p.m.

“The whole apartment shook,” said Yellowknife resident Robert Andrews. “It was loud, too — I thought a snow plow came down the street and hit my apartment.”

NNSL Media contacted Natural Resources Canada after hearing the report to see if there had been any seismic activity in the area, but that wasn’t the case, according to one of its spokespersons.

“I checked the seismic records from our seismic network, but as far as the observations are concerned, we have not detected any significant earthquakes in the Yellowknife region,” said Honn Kao, research scientist at Natural Resources Canada.

He did say there was one report of minor vibrations received via its website, suggesting that any shaking may have been caused by local sources rather than a significant earthquake.

“People usually cannot distinguish them from the shaking of the earthquake,” he said.

It turned out that the rumble felt by residents did come from a local source.

CJ Contracting, which operates a rock quarry, confirmed to NNSL Media that a blast from the quarry was the culprit.

“CJ Contracting was blasting at a quarry outside of town about 5 km away and that was roughly about 1 p.m.,” said Clinton Westgard with CJ Contracting.

He said that the blasting was to produce dirt to use in Yellowknife.

Kao further explained that the magnitude of the shaking may have been strong enough for the individual to feel it and report it, but it was not widespread.