1:04 PM: One WSB ‘er sent a note a few minutes ago asking if there had been an earthquake – she’s downtown in a high-rise and says they were swaying for several long minutes. We’re just now seeing the reports that indeed, there was a 6.7 quake on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Maybe we’re immune from growing up in Southern California, but we didn’t feel anything here in Upper Fauntleroy. You?
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1:21 PM: For those interested – here’s a data-laden page about this quake, courtesy of the U.S. Geological
Service Survey. Also just added a Google map showing the epicenter. **NO** tsunami alert, per this link. The Vancouver Sun‘s ongoing coverage (the story is a little longer every time we’ve checked back) can be found here.
1:48 PM NOTE: You might recall that just yesterday, we mentioned that September is Preparedness Month. Can’t pass up another opportunity to implore you to be sure you really are prepared. If we had to point you to just ONE West Seattle-specific resource – it would be West Seattle Be Prepared (in particular, find and memorize your nearest “Communication Hub”). And any time you wonder whether you felt a quake, check here (though ironically, the BC quake is outside its range).
3:26 PM: Commenters asked about the Viaduct’s new automatic quake gates. We then asked WSDOT, which replied that it would take a quake of at least 5.0, “near” the Viaduct, to trigger them. (This one is now estimated at 6.4, but it was nowhere “near” us, relatively speaking.) WSDOT has since issued a news release saying it’s checked key structures to be sure the BC quake had no effects:
Inspection teams from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) are checking key transportation structures in the Puget Sound region after today’s earthquake near Vancouver Island. No damage has been found so far.
WSDOT crews have completed a visual inspection of the State Route 520 floating bridge and report no damage. They will do a more in-depth inspection in the coming hours.
The Alaskan Way Viaduct remains open and has been inspected visually, with no signs of damage. In addition, seismic sensors installed to trigger automatic gate closures to the structure show no impact from the Vancouver quake, now measured at 6.4. The sensors require an earthquake larger than 5.0 in the immediate vicinity before triggering gate closures.
Moveable bridges in the Seattle area, including the Montlake and 1st Avenue South bridges, also have been inspected, with no damage reported.
Due to the location of the quake, WSDOT crews also were sent to Skagit and Whatcom counties, including the Deception and Canoe Pass bridges. No damage has been reported there.
P.S. Thanks to Jim Edwards for pointing out this online seismic-activity tracker from Vashon, which clearly showed the quake.