UPDATE: Small earthquake felt in West Seattle

8:52 AM: We didn’t feel it but several readers tell us they did – that was indeed a small earthquake, 3.2 magnitude, at 8:27 am, epicenter in Kitsap County, north of Bremerton.

9 AM: Here are more details from the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (whose map we’ve added above).

9:23 AM: The PNSN site now shows a smaller quake, in that same area, 1.9 magnitude, about half an hour later. So far the reports we’ve had of people feeling the 3.2 quake here are from north West Seattle.

2:34 PM: Commenter aRF points out that the area has had a few more small quakes in the hours since.

26 Replies to "UPDATE: Small earthquake felt in West Seattle"

  • just wondering December 15, 2020 (9:25 am)

    Are you prepared for “the big one”?  A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

    • Water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation)
    • Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
    • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
    • Flashlight
    • First aid kit
    • Extra batteries
    • Whistle (to signal for help)
    • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
    • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
    • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
    • Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
    • Manual can opener (for food)
    • Local maps
    • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
    • WSB December 15, 2020 (9:47 am)

      And know your nearest Emergency Hub:

    • Tracey December 15, 2020 (11:52 am)

      I bet we all have at least one item on that list…the dust mask!  After the wildfires and COVID, I sure hope so.

    • Eric1 December 15, 2020 (3:20 pm)

      Aside from being prepared (lists of supplies vary) you should also make sure the supplies are checked on and replenished *somewhat* regularly.  That is: even MRE’s have a shelf life and batteries die on their own after a while (all that stuff you bought after the Nisqually earthquake scare might be questionable now).  Make sure your survival kit is portable and easy to grab because in a large earthquake, your house may not be livable.  A bonus idea is that if you always wanted to buy an RV, it is an excellent portable disaster shelter when stocked with supplies (earthquakes only, may not be applicable to hurricanes, tornados and zombies).

  • LPM December 15, 2020 (9:59 am)

    Small ones can sometimes lead to bigger ones and let’s face it, we aren’t out of 2020 yet.  

    • WSREZ December 15, 2020 (10:41 am)

      got dangit, LPM! don’t put that out in the universe lol

  • ITotallyAgreeWithYou December 15, 2020 (11:22 am)

    Thank you for the report- I did feel it in North Admiral but wasn’t sure if it was an earthquake.

  • geologist December 15, 2020 (11:45 am)

    This is centered on the known trace of the Seattle fault

    • Eric December 15, 2020 (2:09 pm)

      It was ~16 miles down, though, so the quake was not on the Seattle Fault, but below where it reaches the surface.  

      • geologist December 15, 2020 (3:38 pm)

        It dips steeply to the south at an inferred mean dip of 45-60 degrees, to a depth of 25ish km, or 15.5 miles.

        For you Mark:


        • Mark D December 17, 2020 (6:46 am)

          Thanks, Geologist. 
          Mark D, old geography major, son of a geologst/soil scientist:  UCD class of 78 and waiting for the big one while living near a fault line since 96

    • Mark December 15, 2020 (3:07 pm)

      Eric, can you provide a link to that map, please?

  • Alki resident December 15, 2020 (11:47 am)

    I was sitting in my car engine off,by Lincoln Park. Thought it was wind shaking me up, now I know it wasn’t. 

  • Eric Baer December 15, 2020 (12:01 pm)

    If you did feel it, you can report what you felt at https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eventpage/uw61705566/tellus .  The reports help scientists understand the impact of shaking from earthquakes and identify places that might be more at risk.   That, in turn, helps focus response efforts after a more damaging quake.

  • Furor Scribendi December 15, 2020 (12:42 pm)

    Felt the larger quake here in upper Fauntleroy (Westwood). Got some furniture swaying and a growl from the dog… but nothing more, I hope.

  • Flo B December 15, 2020 (12:52 pm)

    Just wondering. You don’t need to wonder. People are NOT ready/prepared for a large quake. My favorite story is the Nisqually quake. I’d just left Admiral Safeway when the quake hit. The next day I needed to go back. I laughed when I went in.  They were cleaned out of water and batteries!. The clerks were laughing, said that AFTER it hit there was a rush of people coming in to buy their emergency supplies. SIGH. 

  • Rock n roll December 15, 2020 (2:10 pm)

    Well at least the bridge didn’t collapse as a result!

  • aRF December 15, 2020 (2:28 pm)

    Six additional quakes in the immediate area as of 12:15pm.

  • JJ December 15, 2020 (6:11 pm)

    All of your regular camping gear can be put into service for emergencies. I like to have some first aid gear packed and ready also. There is a good chance that someone in the home will have encountered shards during the quake or evacuation. I remember filtering and boiling what looked like probably safe water on the Coleman for the neighbor, so they could make bottles for their baby, after the Nisqually quake. The camping gear was essential again for the 2 week winter outage 2006 or 2007. If you are short on space then you can pretend you are interested in ultralight hiking and camping when building up supplies.

  • Deb December 15, 2020 (6:27 pm)

    Felt it in North Admiral…  fish bowl was sloshing, lol.  

  • Admiral Mom December 15, 2020 (7:08 pm)

    Having grown up in So Cal, I KNEW IT!! I put it at about a 3.2. Not surprised given we still have a few days of 2020 left. Limping across the finish line…

  • Karen White December 15, 2020 (8:31 pm)

    Been living through quakes here since 1948, thought to myself “well, there’s another one, wonder if the coffee is ready?”

  • Rita whitten December 16, 2020 (2:45 am)

    I felt it and I’m in Lakewood, wash. Pierce county. I thought it was, but then I didn’t hear anything else about it, but I didn’t watch the news or anything either.

  • Eric December 19, 2020 (8:02 pm)

    The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network has a blog post about this earthquake swarm and others in the area: https://pnsn.org/blog/2020/12/20/renewed-seismic-activity-near-bremerton .  There also was a M2.4 quake this morning (12/19).

    • WSB December 19, 2020 (8:45 pm)


Sorry, comment time is over.