3.8 quake near Astoria a 'friendly earthquake,' PSU geologist says

3.8 earthquake rattles Oregon Coast

ASTORIA, Ore. -- A 3.8 earthquake struck about ten miles west of Astoria at about 7:52 a.m.

The quake was about 20 miles deep, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Clatsop County emergency dispatchers said there were calls about the quake, but no reports of damage.

The earthquake was not along the Cascadia Subduction Zone, where an 8.0 or higher earthquake could happen, causing extensive damage in Oregon and Washington. 

Wednesday's earthquake happened deep within the Juan de Fuca plate, according to John Vidale with the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network. He said it's unusual but not alarming to have seismic activity in the area. 

Scott Burns, a geologist at Portland State University, called Wednesday's event a "friendly earthquake" that is too small to do major damage, but a good reminder that we live in earthquake territory. 

The 3.8 quake was much too small to trigger a tsunami watch. An earthquake needs to reach 6.5 in magnitude to trigger the watch. 

Still, it was unsettling for people in the area. Around Astoria, people reported feeling the quake. 

Several homeowners in Warrenton reported on the KGW Facebook page that their houses shook.

"Yes I sure did! Being a California native I was a bit" shocked" to feel one here," KGW viewer Kirsten Jensen said. "I've survived some HUGE quakes. This wasn't too crazy but just enough to shake the house real good and then fade away."

More: The Portland bridges that collapse in a big earthquake

More: 1,800 Portland building vulnerable in an earthquake

A number of people told the Daily Astorian on Facebook that they felt the quake, one reporting windows rattling in the community of Knappa In Svensen, a person reported the couch jumping and dishes rattling for three to four seconds.

More: Oregon State working on earthquake assessment tool

 


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