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Small Quake Off S. Oregon Coast Monday Afternoon, No Warnings Issued

Published 04/26/21 at 6:55 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Small Quake Off S. Oregon Coast Monday Afternoon, No Warnings Issued

(Coos Bay, Oregon) – A small earthquake shook off the southern Oregon coast Monday afternoon, happening about 3:33 p.m. It registered as a magnitude 4.1, about six miles deep. The area was a little less than 200 miles northwest of Coos Bay, and about 240 miles southwest of Newport. (Graphic courtesy USGS)

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As of 6 p.m., the U.S.G.S. is reporting one person filed a report of having felt the quake. The person lives in the Port Orford area.

No damage was reported and no tsunami threat will be issued from this event. It takes at least a magnitude 7.0 to initiate a tsunami.

The southern Oregon coast is the most active area in the region when it comes to undersea faultlines, but not all of these are related to the larger Cascadia Subduction zone that will someday bring a major quake to Oregon and Washington. This quake took place along the Blanco Fracture, which does intersect with some parts of the subduction zone (the plate boundaries where two continental plates meet and grind against each other).

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Around 20 quakes a year are generated by the Blanco Fracture, which makes this essentially business as usual for the hotspot. It's the greater Cascadia fault that is the worrisome section, which will someday release a magnitude 9.0 megathrust and create havoc along the Oregon and Washington coastlines.

Contrary to some popular rumors these days, the Cascadia Subduction Zone is not releasing pressure with these smaller quakes. The big one will come no matter what the smaller faultlines do.

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