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Two Quakes Off Oregon Coast Wednesday, One Magnitude 5.4

Published 07/17/2019 at 5:53 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Two Quakes Off Oregon Coast Wednesday, One Magnitude 5.4

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(Bandon, Oregon) – Two earthquakes rattled off the southern Oregon coast early Wednesday, but no damage occurred and no tsunami warnings were issued. Both were about 150 miles offshore from Bandon. (Graphic courtesy USGS)

The first occurred just after midnight and was a very small magnitude 2.7 quake. It was too small and too far out at sea to be felt.

The second happened at 7:59 a.m. and was a sizable magnitude 5.4, which would have caused damage if it had been on land. There were apparently nine reports of it being felt, according to the USGS.

Both quakes were centered about six miles beneath the ocean floor.

There have been considerable swarms of earthquakes off the Oregon coast in the last month. On July 3, three small to medium rattlers shook off the southern coast. Before that, on June 23 a whopping 11 small quakes happened in the same area.

Scientists say this is generally normal for what is known as the Cascadia Subduction Zone, an area of fault lines and weak spots that is geologically quite active. It is not necessarily a sign that the big one is coming, but it is a reminder that the big one will hit one day.

Along the whole of the region, about 20 or more quakes and clusters of quakes occur per year.

Measurements of earthquake magnitudes are extremely wide, although the increments may appear small. A 7.0 is 1,000 times bigger than a 4.0, according to the USGS. But it is 31,622 times stronger in its release of energy.

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

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