VANCOUVER – An earthquake has rattled the area off northwestern Vancouver Island.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the 5.1-magnitude quake hit at 5:57 a.m. Friday; however, Natural Resources Canada pegged it at a magnitude of 4.4.

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

The West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Centre said 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 said more than 100 magnitude-5.0 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 in October 2012.