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4.5 Quake Off Oregon Coast: No Damage or Tsunami Alert

Published 02/19/2020 at 6:28 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

4.5 Quake Off Oregon Coast: No Damage or Tsunami Alert

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(Coos Bay, Oregon) – A smallish quake shook the floor off the Oregon coast early Wednesday afternoon, taking place almost 200 miles west of Bandon, Oregon. According to the USGS, the magnitude 4.5 quake happened at 1:38 p.m., at a depth of about six miles beneath the sea floor.

No injuries were reported and no tsunami alert was possible at such a low magnitude. It takes a magnitude 7.0 or higher to create a tsunami.

USGS is reporting it received six reports of people feeling the quake on land, however.

Another slightly higher quake shook that area on February 8. That quake was a magnitude 4.7 and also caused no issues.

All these took place in the Blanco Fracture, which is somewhat connected to the larger Juan de Fuca fracture. This is all in the vicinity of the volcanic hot spot known as the Cascadia Subduction Zone, where the Juan de Fuca plate is slowly separating from the Pacific Plate, but it is the Blanco causing small quakes to happen with regularity.

The Blanco fracture isn’t a subduction zone in itself, like the larger Cascadia zone which will someday produce a massive quake off the Oregon coast. Hence, the Blanco fracture can’t set off such a quake on its own, but it could produce something around a magnitude 7 quake. Some studies suggest if this spot produces a quake that large it could trigger something larger from the Cascadia Subduction Zone.

Keep an eye on Oregon coast quakes: Oregon, Coast Earthquake Updates - Live Data Oregon, Washington, California, Tsunamis









Above: Bandon, courtesy Bandon Visitors Center

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