Big bang, possibly an ice quake, shakes Alberta village during the night

ALBERTA BEACH — Some residents of a village west of Edmonton awoke earlier this week to a very loud bang, and in the morning they reported cracks in homes and the ground.

Alberta Beach mayor Jim Benedict says people thought something had hit their houses — or that something had fallen on their houses — very early Tuesday morning.

Alberta Energy Regulator spokesman Jordan Fitzgerald says staff at the regulator’s Alberta Geological Survey confirm there were two seismic events of approximately 2.0 magnitude late Monday night.

Fitzgerald says staff can’t confirm their exact location due to the low magnitude and the sparsity of nearby seismic stations, but he says initial information shows they were consistent with reports of an earthquake near Alberta Beach.

He says staff believe there may have been a natural earthquake or an “ice quake,” which he says occurs when cold winter temperatures cause groundwater to freeze quickly, causing the ground to suddenly crack.

Benedict says the water table in the area is high and says it’s possible it froze and “popped.”

“I slept through it. I had people phoning me saying they’d heard it at 1:30 and they thought there was an explosion somewhere,” Benedict said.

Benedict said the reports of possible damage were at homes close to the shore of Lac Ste. Anne.

He said on Tuesday, he noticed the ice on the lake had heaved and open water appeared. He said popping noises were coming from the lake all day.

Just Posted

Red Deer massage therapist not guilty of sexual assault

Judge said he had reasonable doubt and must acquit

Update: Nine dead, 16 injured in van incident authorities call a horrific attack

TORONTO — Nine people died and 16 others were injured when a… Continue reading

Watch: Flood watch remains for Waskasoo Creek

Red Deer crews monitoring creek

Warm temperatures this week for Red Deer

23 C forecast for Saturday

WATCH: Central Alberta dancers take over Red Deer College with their moves

Danceworks Central Alberta Dance Festival is now in its 38th year

As Osoyoos Indian Band flourishes, so too does Okanagan’s wine tourism

Indigenous practices have driven growth of South Okanagan’s wine history and agricultural influence

Anti-straw movement should consider people with disabilities, advocates say

TORONTO — Some Canadians who rely on plastic straws are calling on… Continue reading

Doctors must get better at diagnosing patients with darker skin: Dermatologists

TORONTO — About a month ago, a frustrated Emma Schmidt turned to… Continue reading

Loblaw Companies tax court trial over Barbadian banking subsidiary starts

TORONTO — A tax court trial involving Loblaw Companies Ltd. and allegations… Continue reading

As trial winds down, DA downplays Cosby travel records

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — Prosecutors highlighted gaps in Bill Cosby’s travel records on… Continue reading

Summer Movie Preview: Hollywood roars back into action

LOS ANGELES — Summer starts early this year in Hollywood with the… Continue reading

5 things to know as William and Kate have 3rd child

LONDON — Like everything to do with Britain’s royal family, a mix… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month