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Magnitude 4.5 Quake Off South Oregon Coast Thursday

Published 08/24/23 at 10:47 p.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

(Florence, Oregon) – A somewhat small earthquake shook off the southern Oregon coast on Thursday, clocking in at a magnitude 4.5, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). While that isn't big, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) did release a statement saying no tsunami was generated.

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Normally, NOAA does not bother with those statements.

The 4.5 quake happened about 200 miles from Reedsport on the south Oregon coast, or about 230 miles from Newport. It shook at about 7 miles deep at 4:18 p.m. Thursday.

One person in South Beach (Newport) reported to have felt it.

The quake is a bit farther out than many of the south coast quakes. This also happened along the Blanco Fracture Line, although farther west than usual.

Contrary to popular belief, these small but regular quakes in this area do not represent a releasing of pressure from the larger faultline. These have nothing to do with the greater Cascade faultline, which will one day unleash a magnitude 9.0 on the region.

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It requires at least a magnitude 7.0 to initiate a tsunami.

This fracture line is separate from the bigger Cascadia Subduction zone fault, though they are close in the region. The Blanco area is where two plates are rubbing up against each other and occasionally release pressure in that area.

They do not affect the larger fault offshore.

In December of 2021, an astounding 70 small quakes rattled in this area around the southern Oregon coast for about 36 hours, although much of it a bit farther north of the usual area.

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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