Western Washington rocked by 4.3 magnitude earthquake

A 4.3 magnitude earthquake shook parts of western Washington on Sunday evening, according to the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN). The quake occurred at 7:21 p.m. with an epicenter located just under Marrowstone Island, about 35 miles northwest of Seattle. The earthquake had a depth of 57 kilometers, which is considered deep for the region.

The quake was felt by many residents in the Puget Sound area, as well as some parts of Vancouver Island and the Olympic Peninsula. Some people reported feeling their furniture shaking, windows rattling, and water bottles moving. However, there were no reports of any damage or injuries caused by the tremor.


No tsunami threat from the quake

The U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center said that there was no tsunami threat from the earthquake, as it was too small and too deep to generate a large wave. Tsunamis are usually caused by shallow and powerful earthquakes near the ocean floor, which can displace a large amount of water.

The PNSN said that the quake was likely related to the subduction of the Juan de Fuca plate under the North American plate, which is a slow and continuous process that creates stress in the crust. The PNSN monitors seismic activity in Washington and Oregon, and provides real-time information and alerts to the public.

Earthquakes are common in western Washington

Western Washington is located in a seismically active zone, where several tectonic plates converge and interact. The region experiences frequent earthquakes of various magnitudes, most of which are too small or too deep to be felt by humans.

However, there is also a potential for a mega-thrust earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone, which stretches from northern California to southern British Columbia. This is where the Juan de Fuca plate slides under the North American plate, creating a locked zone that can rupture and release a massive amount of energy.

The last time this happened was in 1700, when a magnitude 9 earthquake and a subsequent tsunami devastated the Pacific Northwest coast. Scientists estimate that such an event occurs every 300 to 600 years, and that there is a 10 to 15 percent chance of it happening in the next 50 years.

How to prepare for an earthquake

The Washington State Department of Emergency Management advises residents to be prepared for an earthquake by following these steps:

  • Make a plan with your family and friends on how to communicate and where to meet after an earthquake.
  • Build an emergency kit with enough food, water, medicine, and other supplies for at least three days.
  • Secure your home by anchoring heavy furniture and objects to the walls or floor, and removing any items that can fall or break.
  • Practice how to drop, cover, and hold on when you feel an earthquake. Find a sturdy table or desk to hide under, or cover your head and neck with your arms if there is nothing nearby.
  • Stay away from windows, glass, or anything that can fall or fly during an earthquake.
  • After an earthquake, check yourself and others for injuries, and call 911 if you need help. Stay calm and alert for aftershocks, which can be stronger than the initial quake.
  • Follow the instructions from local authorities on whether to evacuate or shelter in place.

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