Two strong earthquakes shook the West Coast in the Queen Charlotte Islands region early this morning. There is no tsunami warning in effect for the area.

At 3:01 a.m., a quake with a magnitude of about 6.5 on the Richter scale occurred 215 kilometres south of Prince Rupert, B.C., said Natural Resources Canada. A tremour earthquake followed with a magnitude of five, reported the U.S. Geological Survey.

A statement from the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said, "A strong earthquake has occurred, but a tsunami is not expected along the California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, or Alaska coast."

The statement added, "No tsunami warning or watch is in effect for these areas."

The center cautioned that, "Some of these areas may experience non-damaging sea level changes. At coastal locations which have experienced strong ground shaking, local tsunamis are possible due to underwater landslides."

Police in Port Hardy, B.C., a community about 200 kilometres east from where the first and largest earthquake occurred, said that there had been no apparent damage or injuries as a result of the earthquake.

"Something has occurred off shore ... but I've only learned about it five minutes ago ... via e-mail from a friend," said Const. Ed Nugent.

A magnitude of 6.5 is uncommonly high for Canadian earthquakes. The last five reported earthquakes in the country had magnitudes between 3.2 and 3.6 on the Richter scale.

Of the top 10 biggest earthquakes in Canadian history, according to the government website, eight out of 10 had a magnitude between seven and 10 on the Richter scale.

Magnitude is a measurement of the amount of energy released during an earthquake. It is frequently described using the Richter scale. To calculate magnitude, the amplitude of waves on a seismogram is measured.