An earthquake and tsunami warning prompted evacuations in communities in Haida Gwaii and along the northern B.C. coast Saturday night.
However no major damage or injuries were reported as of 11 p.m., according to a provincial emergency spokesperson.
The U.S. Geological Survey reported a 7.7 magnitude earthquake struck at approximately 8:04 p.m. Saturday, 139 kilometres south of Masset on Haida Gwaii, which then triggered a tsunami warning for much of the B.C. coast and parts of Alaska.
Emergency Management B.C. manager of strategic initiatives Kelli Kryzanowski said evacuations have taken place in at least four different communities along the coast.
"Local authorities have activated their local emergency plans," Kryzanowski said. "At this point there are no reports of major damage. [But] power in some areas is sporadic."
No details were available as to how many people were evacuated as of 11 p.m. on Saturday.
"The local authorities have different ways they go about evacuating their communities. Some have alarms... other communities use volunteers or their fire departments or police," she said.
Local authorities opened emergency evacuation centres to accommodate people displaced from their homes, Kryzanowski said.
The tsunami warning was in effect for communities from northern Vancouver Island to Cape Decision, Alaska, 85 miles southeast of Sitka.
Dennis Sinnott, supervisor of the tides and water levels section of the Institute of Ocean Science, said a wave as high as 69 centimetres was recorded at a monitoring station on the southern end of Langara Island -the northernmost island in the Haida Gwaii chain.
"That's a fairly big wave," Sinnott said. "A 60 centimetre wave wouldn't compare to a normal wave."
That wave was recorded at approximately 9 p.m., he said, and since then, "things seem to have settled down."
Waves in the range of 54 centimetres to 44 centimetres were recorded at other stations on Langara Island, he said. In Tofino, on north Vancouver Island, a 12 centimetre wave was recorded.
As of 11:17 p.m. on Saturday the tsunami warning was downgraded to a tsunami advisory by the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center.
In addition, Kryzanowski said, an advisory was issued for southern Vancouver Island including the Victoria area.
An advisory means strong currents are expected and residents are urged to stay away from beach areas, but no "major inundation" is expected.
B.C. Justice Minister Shirley Bond said she and Premier Christy Clark have been kept advised on the situation and the provincial government is offering full support to local authorities in the affected areas.
"Most obviously our first concern is public safety," Bond said. "It certainly seems the dangers and risk are fairly low at this point, and we're thankful for that."