Diana Coder thought she was having a dizzy spell during a family gathering in Westsyde on Saturday night.
"All of a sudden we were rocking back and forth and I grabbed the table and I said 'I'm going to pass out. I can't stop swaying.' "
Little did she know the other half dozen people gathered were feeling it, too, and so was the ceiling light fixture. But it still took a while for the group to believe that what they were feeling was an enormous earthquake.
Diana's husband Dean Coder, a former science teacher and the principal of Kamloops Open Online Learning, briefly considered the possibility of an earthquake, but quickly dismissed the notion.
"I knew there are only two faults, the Juan de Fuca Plate or the one near Haida Gwaii. And I thought if it was one of those, it would be massive. So I discounted the earthquake and just thought it was a big truck."
In fact, as they discovered when the Coders' nephew went online, it was the biggest earthquake to hit Canada in 63 years and its epicentre was just south of Haida Gwaii, more than 800 kilometres away.
"I was thinking 'Hey, what's going on up there?' It was a big concern," said Dean Coder.
The violent earthquake measuring 7.7 jolted B.C.'s north-central coast Saturday just after 8 p.m. It's the second largest to hit the country - in 1949, another earthquake was recorded in the same area with a magnitude of 8.1.
Tsunami warnings were issued for the North Coast, the Haida Gwaii islands, parts of the central B.C. coast, the coast of Alaska and as far away as Hawaii.
Early Sunday morning the warnings were downgraded to advisory status, meaning evacuations were no longer necessary, and they were cancelled altogether a few hours later.
Residents near the centre of the quake said the violent jolting lasted for up to a minute, but no injuries or major damage had been reported.
Back in Kamloops, the Coder family was not alone in feeling the earthquake, if Twitter postings are to be believed. But they were certainly not in the majority.
Although admittedly not an expert, Dean Coder has a hunch that the geography of Westsyde may have led to more acute tremors while much of the rest of Kamloops remained inert.
"Westsyde being along the riverbank with likely some sort of sedimentary ground it would probably promote the movement of the wave, it was just felt a little more there."
THE DAILY NEWS/THE CANADIAN PRESS