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Small Earthquake Shakes N. Oregon Coast; Rattles Nerves but No Damage

Published 11/02/2016 at 6:21 PM PDT - Updated 11/02/2016 at 6:41 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Warrenton, where the quake was mostly felt

(Warrenton, Oregon) - A 3.8 magnitude earthquake shook some parts of the north Oregon coast Wednesday morning, rattling homes, businesses and some nerves, but not causing any damage. (Above: Warrenton, where the quake was mostly felt).

According to witnesses, it was felt only for about a second or two in Warrenton, Astoria, Gearhart and as far south as Seaside to some degree. The quake was centered about ten miles west of Astoria at 21 miles below the surface, happening at 7:52 a.m.

This, according to the USGS, was not part of the Cascadia Subduction Zone – the large quake-intensive area off the Oregon coast that will someday produce a major earthquake and tsunami. This rattler was nowhere near the strength it takes to create a tsunami, which is 7.0 or above. Indeed, the USGS said this particular quake was part of a series of smaller faults that exist off the Oregon coast and around the inland state which fire off now and again.

Keith Chandler, manager of Seaside Aquarium, said he did not feel the quake while preparing the aquarium for opening. But the boyfriend of an employee who lives just outside of Warrenton did feel it there and called the facility, telling them about it.

Reports from residents indicate some brief moments of panic. Some in Hammond and Warrenton said they stood in doorways, and in one case a man's wife woke him up while screaming. Many said it felt like an object hit the house or perhaps a massive wind storm.

One man in Warrenton said he felt the couch he was sitting on move abruptly, only for a second or so, and briefly thought his cat had shaken it by jumping up behind him.

Some did report the shaking go on for several seconds, however. One woman said she stood in a doorway waiting for it to stop.

Many residents did report objects falling over in their homes, but no damage.

Coincidentally, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown was in Astoria for a seismic readiness tour of the area. She called it a “wake up call” during the outing, as she was guided around the Clatsop County Emergency Operations Center and the Clatsop Community College Seismic Resilience & Preparedness Tour.

Another set of small earthquakes happened off the Oregon coast on October 9, and although they were stronger and in the subduction zone they created no tsunami alerts or damage. In fact they were not even felt, except by a handful on the southern coast.

The first occurred at 5:18 a.m. October 9 at a magnitude 4.1 and about 330 miles SW of Portland. The second also shook at a magnitude 4.1 at 11:51 a.m., situated at 329 miles SW of Portland. The third at magnitude 4.8 happened at 12:08 p.m. and was 339 miles from Portland. All were about 200 miles offshore from Newport or Florence.

You can keep up with all earthquake activity along the Oregon coast as well as California, Washington and British Columbia with the Live Earthquake, Tsunami Updates from Oregon Coast, Washington. B.C., California, Alaska section. - - - - Where to stay in these areas - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours






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