Ellesmere Island Rocked by Powerful Earthquake
Ellesmere Island, the northernmost land mass in Canada, has been hit by the
strongest earthquake ever measured in the history of the world, causing an estimated
200 dollars in damage and rendering at least seven lemmings homeless.
Registering a 9.6 on the Richter scale, the quake produced the highest recording
ever by the earthquake-magnitude measuring device, surpassing the previous
high of 9.5 attributed to an earthquake in Chile that killed 5,000 people
Although there were no reported human casualties as of press time, the awesome
power of nature demonstrated by the Ellesmere quake left the island's three
permanent residents scurrying into nearby snow banks in the broad daylight
of the harsh Arctic night.
"It was awful, the scariest thing I've ever lived through," said
Ellesmere convenience store operator Sheryl Chalmers, who stubbed a toe "pretty
bad" during the tremor.
"A box of cereal fell to the floor and got dented, the jar of mayonnaise
was chipped, I was cleaning up the mess for a good 20 minutes
According to Military officials posted to the island against their will,
the most severe damage from the earthquake was to Glacier M-3465, on the island's
"Glaciers M-3465 and WX-278 both sustained considerable damage as a
result of the earthquake," said Bob Beaudry of the Department of National
Defense's Geological Survey.
The "very, very, very lonely" Beaudry described the damage as some
of the worst glacier cracking and snow displacement in the 17 years that he
has been stationed on this island, located "just minutes" south
of the North Pole, according to tourism brochures issued by island officials.
The population of Ellesmere Island, plus a visiting
relative, prepapre to inspect earthquake damage at Ellesmere Island
National Park Reserve in preparation for peak visitor season.
"Not to mention the noise pollution from all that seal barking,"
Beaudry also mentioned that a weather station located on the island's southern
plateau near Ice Field #31 probably suffered some sort of damage, although
he hasn't been able to get to it in months due to snow accumulation.
In the wake of the damage, Ellesmere community activists are pleading for
"Just look around here
..look at the carnage," said longtime
Ellesmere resident and President of the Ellesmere Chamber of Commerce Jena
THE AWESOME POWER OF MOTHER NATURE:
pre-earthquake (left) and post (right) footage of Ellesmere Island's
Lewis, who is also, amongst other titles, the island's chief archivist, promotions
coordinator, Vice-President of Tourism and dry cleaner, urged the Prime Minister
to tour the area so that he can "witness the destruction, and declare
Ellesmere Island to be in a state of emergency, so we can start rebuilding
"Providing we can find some place where one of those real big planes
that he flies in can land
." added Lewis, her voice trailing off
as she stared out her window into the barren landscape.
This is the first time Ellesmere Island has been in the national news since
it made history in 1984 by becoming the first jurisdiction in the world to
have a polar bear hold public office, when Sascha the polar bear was acclaimed
as municipal councilor for the community of Alert, at the island's extreme
Posted on August 24th, 2001