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Three Small Quakes Off Southern Oregon Coast

Published 07/30/23 at 3:21 a.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Three Small Quakes Off Southern Oregon Coast

(Oregon Coast) – Three small quakes shook off the southern Oregon coast early on Saturday, about 100 to approximately 140 miles off Port Orford, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). The final two were a mere 2.9 and 2.8 magnitude, and the first was a magnitude 4.4. None were large enough to create a tsunami alert. (Graphic USGS)

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The first happened at 6:55 a.m. at a magnitude 4.4 at a depth of some six miles. USGS's website said two people had reported feeling it, but they were in places too far for that to be true. That one was the farthest west of the Oregon coast, about 140 miles away or so.

The second was magnitude 2.8 that took place at 10:18 a.m., about 90 miles away from Port Orford.

The third was at 11:17 a.m. with a magnitude 2.9, in roughly the same area as the previous one.

It takes at least a magnitude 7.0 to create a tsunami.

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.

See Oregon, Coast Earthquake Updates - Live Data Oregon, Washington, California, Tsunamis

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. MORE PHOTOS OF THE REGION BELOW

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Photo above: Coos Bay, courtesy Oregon's Adventure Coast

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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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