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Three Small Quakes Rattle Offshore from Yachats, Central Oregon Coast

Published 09/09/2017 at 8:27 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Three Small Quakes Rattle Offshore from Yachats, Central Oregon Coast

(Oregon Coast) – Three small quakes shook the sea floor off the Oregon coast in the middle of the afternoon on Saturday, each about or within 250 miles of Yachats. There were no reports of damage and there are no reports of it being felt. (Above: Graphic courtesy USGS. The beige dots are from Saturday; the other three show smaller quakes in the last month).

The first was a 3.3 magnitude which occurred at 3:30 p.m., about 10 km deep – which is 6.2 miles down. That one was 248 miles from Yachats.

The next pair hit in the same area, at the same depth, but only a few minutes apart.

A 3.3 magnitude quake occurred at 4:42 p.m., this time a few miles closer to Yachats, at 245 miles away.

The third happened at 4:46 p.m. and was a 3.4 magnitude, happening several miles to the southwest of the other two.

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It was logged as 256 miles from Charleston on the southern Oregon coast, and 261 miles from Coos Bay.

All three were approximately three hundred miles from Corvallis, Oregon.

The USGS said it takes a 7.0 quake to create a tsunami.

They all occurred on the Blanco Fracture Zone, which is connected to the series of fault lines hovering off the Oregon coast. The Blanco zone is where the Juan de Fuca plate and the Pacific Plate are scraping up against each other. They move at a rate that is about the same speed a fingernail grows. Sometimes this builds up enough pressure that things need to release, creating minor earthquakes, usually several miles deep. Oregon Coast Hotels - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours

These kinds of quakes are not unusual for the region, although it will one day cause a massive geologic event that will result in a major quake and tsunami. The last such quake happened in 1700 and was documented by tsunami events in Japan.

Small quakes and clusters of quakes happen approximately 20 times per year in that region. The USGS reports that since 1950, about 130 earthquakes have happened there that are a magnitude 5 or greater.

You can keep up with Pacific ocean earthquakes in the Northwest and west coast with the Live Earthquake, Tsunami Updates from Oregon Coast, Washington. B.C., California, Alaska section.


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