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An earthquake has rattled the area off northwestern Vancouver Island.

The U.S. Geological Survey says 5.1 magnitude quake hit at 5:57 Friday morning.

It was centred under the Pacific Ocean, about 170 kilometres west of Port Hardy, B.C.

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The West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Centre says the quake was not strong enough to generate a dangerous wave.

The shaker occurred in a region where earthquakes are common because of the movement of several plates of the earth's crust.

Natural Resources Canada says more than 100 magnitude 5 earthquakes or stronger have occurred off British Columbia in the last 70 years, including the magnitude 7.7 quake, the second strongest ever recorded in Canada, that jolted the west coast of Haida Gwaii last October.

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