A mild earthquake that punctuated the Osoyoos morning Saturday was the talk of the community over the weekend.
But on Mt. Baldy — where the quake was centered — the stories are not about the earth moving but more about the sound it made.
“At first I thought something must have exploded, because it was really loud,” said Eva Duguid, who with husband Jeff was up on the mountain doing some work in their cabin.
“Any earthquake I’ve been in, there’s never any sound. There was definitely a bit of a shake, but the most obvious thing was the sound.”
The Duguids knew their neighbour was falling some tall trees and wondered if perhaps one of them had crashed into a nearby cabin
Neighbour Cheryl Dunnill thought that cabin might be hers.
“That’s what I thought at first,” she said. “We heard this huge crack and then a rumbling sound and I was looking at the ceiling because I thought a tree was going to come through it.”
She equated the sensation to a similar one she experiences over the winter months.
“When the snow leaves this cabin — like when the roof sheds — the building will shake a little bit,” she added.
“It felt like everything was shaking, but it was hard to tell, it was mostly noisy. It was more the sound to me because I couldn’t believe this house would move.”
Her husband, Wayne, has lived in the valley his entire life. He can’t recall another earthquake quite like this one.
“I’ve felt some before, but nothing like that,” he said. “And I never heard them — this was like a big boom.”
Baldy Mountain Resort’s Joey O’Brien said he had workers in the day lodge when the quake occurred but added his crew wasn’t doing any other work on the mountain.
“I was not up there, but I got calls and text from staff who were up there and they literally ran out of the building,” said Baldy Mountain Resort’s Joey O’Brien.
“They couldn’t believe it. But they thought it was pretty cool, once they found out what was going on.”
The mountain — 2,303 metres high — is an extinct volcano.
“It kind of makes sense that the volcano would form on a fissure between a couple of small plates,” said Mr. O’Brien.
“I wonder if Baldy is taller now?” he mused.
The ski resort has spent much of the summer pulling apart its lifts, testing various components and now has them back in the ground for even more testing.
It was the crew working in the day lodge, however, impacted the most by the tremors.
“They were pulling lights off the ceiling and things got pretty exciting as they were scampering down ladders to get out of there,” Mr. O’Brien said.
On the mountain, there is talk of light damage — a couple of glassed frames shaken from the wall or otherwise set a kilter — but otherwise, the moment passed and the residents went back to their business.
“We heard a tremendous boom, which we thought was dynamite, and the earth really did move beneath our feet, just like you hear it is supposed to happen,” said another neighbour who asked her name not be used.
“We were just startled by it, if anything. Certainly when we thought it was an explosion, we were concerned about that.”
The minor earthquake — registering 4.0 on the Richter scale — occurred about 9:16 a.m. According to Natural Resources Canada, it was likely felt throughout the South Okanagan and West Boundary region of the province.