As ICTMN has reported, the recent 7.7 earthquake that struck just off the coast of Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, the largest recorded in Canada in more than 60 years, has traumatized the local population. It has also raised serious new environmental concerns about the proposed Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline, which would traverse First Nations lands. Now, it’s had another unfortunate result, the shutting off of the waters to the Haida Gwaii hot springs.
The hot springs, in Gwaii Haanas National Park, are a popular natural attraction and have been a major tourist draw for decades. Parks Canada officials at Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site said all four of the popular geothermal pools are empty.
It’s not yet clear why or when the springs dried up, but geological experts will be investigating what may have happened in the days to come, CBC News reports.
Dozens of aftershocks as strong as 6.3 have since rattled the region.
The CBC reported that some locals on Haida Gwaii say the hot springs have disappeared in the past after an earthquake, only to reappear a couple of years later. Some experts are also saying that they could return, including UBC seismologist Michael Bostock. He told CBC News he can’t be certain the hot springs will return, but “it seems like a good bet, given the way that things have behaved in the past.”
Barb Rowsell, who owns Anvil Cove Charters, which has led thousands of tourists to the springs, is trying to be philosophical about their disappearance, and that she hopes tourists will keep coming to the region anyway, for its other beauties.
“Well, as my husband said, the Earth gives and it takes away.”