Yes, that was an earthquake – near Key Center

April 7, 2013 at 8:53 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 18 Comments

8:53 AM: We missed it, but at least a few people in West Seattle didn’t, judging by the morning inbox: There was a 3.5 earthquake in the South Sound (centered west of Key Center) just before 2 am. Here’s its infopage. Not major by any measure, but also, on the stronger side of “small” earthquakes. No reports of damage (that we can find). Those who e-mailed us about feeling it here described it as a short, sharp shake.

3:06 PM: As the day goes on, people are talking about preparedness, since a quake is always a jolting reminder – here’s a great place to start:


  1. Those with security cameras should check their videos for around 1:57 to see if they detect anything.

    Comment by Robert — 9:58 am April 7, 2013 #

  2. I felt it on Vashon Island! That’s what woke me up! Crazy.

    Comment by SudsyMaggie — 10:55 am April 7, 2013 #

  3. Good thing we’re not drilling a huge hole under a city,just feet away from an ocean of water,near a volcano in a active seismic zone or else this news would be concerning.Where is the simulation of what a tunnel would do in a quake?

    Comment by thistle stairs — 11:03 am April 7, 2013 #

  4. Here’s some information on the tunnel’s disaster prep:

    Comment by WSB — 11:28 am April 7, 2013 #

  5. This woke me up. Thought I was losing my mind – but it wasn’t my imagination! 2 AM felt a short rumble.

    Comment by sunny2wa — 11:41 am April 7, 2013 #

  6. I didn’t notice, but my 3 month old puppy woke me up crying just before that time. Not sure if it was a coincidence, but that’s not her usual time to go outside.

    Comment by Greatwhite — 11:53 am April 7, 2013 #

  7. How close will the tunnel drilling be near the Seattle fault? Fracking, from what I’ve read, has contributed to earthquake occurrences. Will the tunneling give us a shake???

    Comment by East Coast Cynic — 12:06 pm April 7, 2013 #

  8. Love your comment Thistle Stairs and agree!

    Comment by Chris — 12:10 pm April 7, 2013 #

  9. Thistle Stairs… Nice!

    Comment by Chris W — 12:40 pm April 7, 2013 #

  10. Thistle Stairs, did you ever take science, math, physics or geology? My guess is no.

    Comment by mike — 1:04 pm April 7, 2013 #

  11. I didn’t feel it, but my nightstand did.

    Comment by BLB — 1:12 pm April 7, 2013 #

  12. Our family was wondering if the tunnel boring/drilling machine could cause an earthquake because of the fault lines running under Seattle? Thanks.

    Comment by Faith4 — 1:49 pm April 7, 2013 #

  13. i woke up right before 2 am but didn’t feel anything. weird. maybe it did wake me up and i just didn’t realize it. i couldn’t go back to sleep for 2 hours. however at the time (when I couldn’t sleep) i was thinking about some friends who are moving here from another state, and some welcome to Seattle things for them. cute re-usable grocery bags, a gift card to bakery nouveau, and I also thought about getting them a list of emergency preparedness supplies. maybe I felt the earthquake and didn’t realize it.

    Comment by sam-c — 2:36 pm April 7, 2013 #

  14. If you felt the quake, it would be a great idea to fill out the form at
    Data from this helps seismologists know areas that shake more or less in an earthquake. This is particularly important in West Seattle where shaking in past earthquakes has been highly variable.
    (And no, Faith4, the tunneling could not cause a major earthquake. The faults are are miles below the surface and the tunnel is only a a couple of hundred feet deep at most. This quake was 12 miles deep, for instance.)

    Comment by Eric B — 2:53 pm April 7, 2013 #

  15. I agree Thistle Stairs…my thoughts exactly for the past few months…

    Comment by Tiffany — 4:28 pm April 7, 2013 #

  16. A little info on the quake from a seismological point of view:

    Comment by John Vidale — 6:22 pm April 7, 2013 #

  17. I live in Shelton and was up at 1:57 and felt nothing or maybe I was just so sleepy that I didn’t notice it.

    Comment by Tracy — 8:33 am April 8, 2013 #

  18. I thought I felt an earthquake earlier in the evening while reading in bed. Would have been around 11:50. At least I felt something that made me think we might be having an earthquake.

    Comment by rufus — 1:58 pm April 9, 2013 #

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