West Seattle, Washington
Exactly 20 years ago, at 10:54 am February 28, 2001, West Seattle and the rest of the region was shaken in a big way by what went into the history books as the Nisqually Earthquake, after its South Sound epicenter. The magnitude 6.8 quake was big but not The Big One – that is considered to be still likely someday, maybe in our lifetimes, maybe not. But you need to be ready – there are abundant reasons why, such as what’s shown on this USGS map of how the area stacks up in shaking risk; note that some parts of West Seattle are considered at higher risk than others.
Meantime, preparedness remains vital. Every time there’s an anniversary, we remind you that a single, simple action you can take is to know your nearest Hub:
Shown on that map are the Emergency Communications Hubs – community-powered, pre-planned locations you would go in case of major catastrophe, if regular communication channels were disrupted. Be sure you and your family know the closest one. If there’s not one anywhere near your neighborhood, you can organize one – start here. Quakes are still happening – usually too small to feel (check this map for the most-recent ones) – but still without warning; even though an “early warning” tool is in development, it would give you seconds at best.
P.S. So where were you when the Nisqually Quake hit?
11:41 AM: This was small enough and deep enough that it may have gone entirely unfelt, but a friend pointed this tweet out to Verne, who emailed us, so for the record: An earthquake of 1.4 magnitude – what’s considered a microquake – happened at 9:48 pm Christmas night, 17 miles beneath the West Duwamish Greenbelt, east of where SW Thistle ends. Here’s the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network page for it; here’s its US Geological Survey page (which includes a link for sending a report if you felt it); here’s a map. The quake was originally estimated at 2.0, but that was revised to 1.4 once it got an official review this morning.
2:11 PM: The microquake’s been reviewed again and now the epicenter has been shifted south to White Center, 14th SW just south of Roxbury.
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.
Our Admiral location is temporarily closed as one of our employees has tested positive for the coronavirus. Out of an abundance of caution, we will be closing the restaurant for a few days while our entire staff gets tested and awaits results. We are having a professional cleaning crew completely disinfect all surfaces later today to ensure a safe reopening. While aiming for a Tuesday reopening, the safety and health of our staff and our community is our top priority and we continue to closely monitor the situation. Thank you for trusting us, we do not take it lightly, and we will see you soon. Take care of yourselves and each other!
The photo and words of gratitude for the Duwamish Valley Youth Corps are from Paula Huffman:
The morning of July 22, over 20 dedicated youths showed up to clean out a garbage and invasive plant mess in a greenbelt along 14th Avenue SW in Highland Park. This group provides restoration services for wetlands, greenbelts, and city raingardens. Supervisor Carmen Martinez says the group works for cookies and other refreshments. Carmen can be contacted at 206-816-2856. Highland Park residents really appreciate this group!
3:17 AM: The USGS has revised the magnitude of the 2:51 am quake to 4.4.
3:25 AM: 4.4 isn’t huge but certainly the strongest in the region in quite some time. Here’s the page showing recent Puget Sound quakes. First quake of at least 4 magnitude since February 2017. (Here’s the list of other 4-or-greater quakes in our region, going back half a century. This was the second-strongest since the 2001 Nisqually quake.)
3:42 AM: Scientists have revised the magnitude again, now to 4.6. If that holds, it’s the highest-magnitude quake since Nisqually.
4:02 AM: One more link before we go back off watch for a while – the aftershocks are shown here.