Important historic earthquakes (until 2013) in Washington, USA

Last update: April 28, 2014 at 5:56 pm by By

The list of the 50 most recent earthquakes in this state can be found at the bottom of this page.

Click on this image to watch it in full size - Data courtesy NOAA Natural Hazards database

Click on this image to watch it in full size - Data courtesy NOAA Natural Hazards database

TSU - means that a tsunami was triggered (in this case Lake @ Mt. St. Helens) - VOL = earthquake with a volcanic origin


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Label info : M = magnitude, D = depth (km), Time = UTC time

SRC Location UTC Date/time M D INFO
USGS Port Townsend, Washington Apr 20 05:07 3.0 23 MAP I Felt It INFO
  • Port Orchard - The rain was pouring when I could feel, ever so slightly, slight movement and could just barely hear a low rumbling. Honestly? I thought it was a lightning storm and thunder. I have been in many, many earthquakes including the Great Alaskan Quake in 1964 and the next year Seattle 1965. Also the Nisqually Quake in late February, 2001. I know what quake feel like, but I could have sworn it was a storm.
  • Coupeville - Loud bang and a jolt like something hit the side of the house. I have lived in S. CA most of my life but this was very different.
  • EMSC Puget Sound Region, Washington Apr 20 05:07 3.1 23 MAP I Felt It INFO
    EMSC Puget Sound Region, Washington Apr 16 23:08 2.3 15 MAP I Felt It
    EMSC Puget Sound Region, Washington Apr 16 21:36 2.1 16 MAP I Felt It
    EMSC Puget Sound Region, Washington Apr 16 19:55 2.0 15 MAP I Felt It
    EMSC Washington Apr 12 12:38 2.2 7 MAP I Felt It
    USGS Granite Falls, Washington Apr 06 22:32 2.6 0 MAP I Felt It
    EMSC Seattle-tacoma Area, Washington Apr 04 09:50 2.3 20 MAP I Felt It
  • eatonville - I was sitting out in my van when I felt some shaking underneath me, I thought that I was imagining it but then my opened door started to shake then the entire van. it was mild but it was DEFINITELY felt and seen by the vans movement!!
  • EMSC Seattle-tacoma Area, Washington Apr 03 12:39 2.2 17 MAP I Felt It
    USGS Morton, Washington Mar 30 20:02 2.6 11 MAP I Felt It
    EMSC Washington Mar 30 20:02 2.3 11 MAP I Felt It
    USGS Orting, Washington Mar 24 18:14 2.9 12 MAP I Felt It
    EMSC Washington Mar 24 18:14 2.9 13 MAP I Felt It
    USGS Morton, Washington Mar 14 23:43 3.2 11 MAP I Felt It
    EMSC Washington Mar 14 23:43 3.2 12 MAP I Felt It INFO
    USGS Friday Harbor, Washington Mar 11 23:49 2.6 11 MAP I Felt It
    EMSC San Juan Islands Reg, Washington Mar 11 23:49 2.6 12 MAP I Felt It
    EMSC Seattle-tacoma Area, Washington Mar 10 15:50 2.3 14 MAP I Felt It
    EMSC Washington Mar 10 10:34 2.0 8 MAP I Felt It
    EMSC Washington Mar 08 14:23 2.2 10 MAP I Felt It
    EMSC Puget Sound Region, Washington Feb 28 22:59 2.4 0 MAP I Felt It
    USGS Cle Elum, Washington Feb 26 13:59 3.5 4 MAP I Felt It
  • Cle elum, wa - Very sharp joLt. I wasn't sure if it was a quake or a large amount of snow sliding off of the roof. The house shook.
  • Lauderdale Junction, WA area - Large rumbling sound, like a very large door had been slammed; lasted c. 2.5 seconds--no apparent damage to house
  • cle elum wa - the shaking woke us up! didn't last very long.
  • USGS Cle Elum, Washington Feb 26 13:59 3.5 4 MAP I Felt It INFO
    EMSC Washington Feb 26 13:59 3.5 5 MAP I Felt It
    USGS Belfair, Washington Feb 23 04:59 4.1 15 MAP I Felt It
  • Olympia - No damage just a few good jolts
  • Shelton - minor rumble
  • Olympia - Heard a loud boom, then 1-2 seconds later felt the house shake for maybe a second.
  • Bremerton - Felt like a wave... as if in the ocean or on a boat.
  • Gig Harbor - Felt it as I was laying in bed
  • Belfair - Couch I was sitting on was shaking.
  • Olympia - No damage, the house shook twice.
  • Tumwater - Felt the shake.
  • Silverdale - Felt building say from side to side (I'm on 5th floor) - slight rattle of objects but no damage. Earthquake was on the 22nd - not 23rd
  • Port Orchard - Moderate shaking
  • Fox Island - Rumble with a sharp jolt. No damage.
  • Belfair - No damage. Was sitting on the couch and lasted a second or two.
  • Seabeck - Rumbling noise with rattling for a couple seconds
  • Tumwater - Lying in bed and felt two separate shakes. Approximately 3 seconds apart. Hard enough for me to get out of bed and check outside to see what was going on.
  • Raymond - Felt a slight movement of chair I was sitting in.
  • Seattle - No damage. Slight shaking and rattling.
  • Lacey WA - A slight low rumble sound, and felt the couch I was sitting on shake noticeably but not hard, for about 10 seconds or less, but hard to recall time.
  • Port Orchard - Felt like it was a soft swaying from side to side earthquake. Ceiling lamp was moving slightly.
  • Hoodsport - Some pretty good shaking that lasted 10-15 seconds. No damage to report.
  • Lacey - Sitting on couch - heard loud boom (thought was JBLM). Then slight shaking of couch. Still thought JBLM and did not realize until news that it was an earthquake.
  • Union, WA - Loud boom. Light shaking.
  • Olympia - Same as above Oly poster- loud boom, little shake and we looked at each other and said,"was that...?"
  • Lynnwood wa - I was outside taking a walk to the store all sudden I heard rumbling sound an it hit me a earthquake felt a little but I heard it
  • Port Orchard - Felt like an commercial airplane or train passed by the house. Pretty good vibration sensation felt. House creaked (which this new construction home does not do a lot of. Cats freaked and attempted to run from it. No damage found or noted. Had been sitting on couch watching tv at the time.
  • Maggie Lake - Laying on my bed, jolt to the left and then the right, then it was over.
  • Shelton WA - Bed suddenly rose and rocked like a boat on small waves.
  • Olympia - Apartment shook
  • Eatonville, WA - I was standing outside my house (No one else was home). I didn't feel any shaking but my kitchen window rattled. About 5 seconds later it rattled again . Did not realize there had been an earthquake until I saw it on the news.
  • Tahuya/Seabeck Peninsula - Our house had one good bang and some roof tiles cascaded off however our house is directly over the reported epicenter.
  • Shelton - I was in bed and, my bed just shook about three times then it stopped.
  • EMSC Puget Sound Region, Washington Feb 23 04:59 4.2 17 MAP I Felt It
  • Seabeck - Deep rumble followed immediately by the house moving as though it were on a sea swell, some rattling. Not sure why others have reported it being on the 23rd (its Wednesday, the 22nd).
  • Tumwater - No damage just rattling
  • Hoodsport, WA - Just a quick very strong jolt which moved the couch I was sitting on by 6 inches. A few items fell off a shelf.
  • Bremerton - Slight shaking out near Seabeck in Lake Symington.
  • USGS Belfair, Washington Feb 23 04:59 4.1 4 MAP I Felt It INFO
  • Tumwater - No extended shaking, but a short tremble followed by a single brief, sharp shock. Definitely noticeable but not sustained.
  • Tahuya - Not sure if damage. Large jolt with noise. Felt house sway and move.
  • Bainbridge Island - More of a jolt
  • Harstine Island - Felt like slow vibration (like when a washing machine shakes a house) - was about a 1.5 minutes long.
  • Belfair - I shock like an elephant hit the house but with no sound
  • Port Orchard - Wasn't sure what it was just some shaking but very noticible
  • Olympia, wa - Seemed to be no horizon movement nor shaking; just two definite strong vertical movements about 4 seconds apart. More like what I'd guess a subsurface explosion feels like.
  • Seabeck - No damage. Deep rumble followed immediately by a quick roll similar to sea swell. House bucked maybe an inch vertically, lasted just a second.
  • Belfair, Wa - @ 1 1/2 sec. shaking of house
  • EMSC Seattle-tacoma Area, Washington Feb 19 19:27 2.7 8 MAP I Felt It
    USGS Purdy, Washington Feb 19 19:27 2.6 7 MAP I Felt It
    EMSC San Juan Islands Reg, Washington Feb 13 04:13 2.2 14 MAP I Felt It
    EMSC Washington Feb 06 03:22 2.4 7 MAP I Felt It
    EMSC Washington Feb 02 23:34 2.2 0 MAP I Felt It
    USGS Friday Harbor, Washington Feb 01 20:34 2.8 13 MAP I Felt It
    EMSC San Juan Islands Reg, Washington Feb 01 20:34 2.8 14 MAP I Felt It
    USGS Friday Harbor, Washington Jan 30 11:03 3.1 14 MAP I Felt It INFO
    EMSC San Juan Islands Reg, Washington Jan 30 11:03 3.1 15 MAP I Felt It INFO
    USGS Friday Harbor, Washington Jan 30 02:27 2.8 14 MAP I Felt It
    EMSC San Juan Islands Reg, Washington Jan 30 02:27 2.7 13 MAP I Felt It
    EMSC San Juan Islands Reg, Washington Jan 25 22:36 2.0 11 MAP I Felt It
    USGS Friday Harbor, Washington Jan 24 13:44 2.5 17 MAP I Felt It
    EMSC San Juan Islands Reg, Washington Jan 24 13:43 2.5 18 MAP I Felt It
    USGS Quinault Census Designated Place, Washington Jan 22 20:05 3.6 39 MAP I Felt It INFO
  • Shelton - Weak at first, then a rolling sound that lead to the whole house shaking.
  • Montesano - Felt like a big tree fell close to the house. Couple seconds.
  • EMSC Olympic Peninsula, Washington Jan 22 20:05 3.6 40 MAP I Felt It
    USGS Riverbend, Washington Jan 22 16:43 2.8 1 MAP I Felt It
    EMSC Washington Jan 22 16:43 2.8 1 MAP I Felt It
    EMSC Washington Jan 22 13:02 3.1 3 MAP I Felt It
    USGS Riverbend, Washington Jan 22 13:02 3.1 3 MAP I Felt It INFO
    USGS Three Lakes, Washington Jan 22 00:12 2.6 13 MAP I Felt It
    EMSC Puget Sound Region, Washington Jan 22 00:12 2.6 14 MAP I Felt It
    EMSC Puget Sound Region, Washington Jan 22 00:10 2.9 13 MAP I Felt It

    Data sources courtesy : USGSEMSCGFZGEONET

    SHARE YOUR EARTHQUAKE EXPERIENCE WITH US

    Enter Email (not compulsory)
    Country where you felt the earthquake
    City/Village where you felt the earthquake
    Street or suburb (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Latitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
    Longitude (area) where you felt the earthquake
    MMI II (Very weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt by persons at rest, on upper floors or favorably placed.
    MMI III (Weak shaking) ?
    People :
    Felt indoors; hanging objects may swing, vibration similar to passing of light trucks, duration may be estimated, may not be recognized as an earthquake.
    MMI IV (Light shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally noticed indoors but not outside. Light sleepers may be awakened. Vibration may be likened to the passing of heavy traffic, or to the jolt of a heavy object falling or striking the building.
    Fittings :
    Doors and windows rattle. Glassware and crockery rattle. Liquids in open vessels may be slightly disturbed. Standing motorcars may rock.
    Structures :
    Walls and frames of buildings, and partitions and suspended ceilings in commercial buildings, may be heard to creak.
    MMI V (Moderate shaking) ?
    People :
    Generally felt outside, and by almost everyone indoors. Most sleepers awakened. A few people alarmed.
    Fittings :
    Small unstable objects are displaced or upset. Some glassware and crockery may be broken. Hanging pictures knock against the wall. Open doors may swing. Cupboard doors secured by magnetic catches may open. Pendulum clocks stop, start, or change rate.
    Structures :
    Some large display windows cracked. A few earthenware toilet fixtures cracked.
    MMI VI (Strong shaking) ?
    People Felt by all. People and animals alarmed. Many run outside. Difficulty experienced in walking steadily.
    Fittings :
    Objects fall from shelves. Pictures fall from walls. Some furniture moved on smooth floors, some unsecured free-standing fireplaces moved. Glassware and crockery broken. Very unstable furniture overturned. Small church and school bells ring. Appliances move on bench or table tops. Filing cabinets or "easy glide" drawers may open (or shut).
    Structures :
    Slight damage to buildings with low standard. Some stucco or cement plaster falls. Large display windows broken. Damage to a few weak domestic chimneys, some may fall.
    Environment :
    Trees and bushes shake, or are heard to rustle. Loose material may be dislodged from sloping ground, e.g. existing slides, talus slopes, shingle slides.
    MMI VII (Very strong shaking) ?
    People
    General alarm. Difficulty experienced in standing. Noticed by motorcar drivers who may stop.
    Fittings :
    Large bells ring. Furniture moves on smooth floors, may move on carpeted floors. Substantial damage to fragile contents of buildings.
    Structures :
    Unreinforced stone and brick walls cracked. Low standard buildings cracked with some minor masonry falls. A few instances of damage to buildings of ordinary workmanship. Unbraced parapets, unbraced brick gables, and architectural ornaments fall. Roofing tiles, especially ridge tiles may be dislodged. Many unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, often falling from roof-line. Water tanks Type I burst. A few instances of damage to brick veneers and plaster or cement-based linings. Unrestrained water cylinders (hot-water cylinders) may move and leak. Some common windows cracked. Suspended ceilings damaged.
    Environment :
    Water made turbid by stirred up mud. Small slides such as falls of sand and gravel banks, and small rock-falls from steep slopes and cuttings. Instances of settlement of unconsolidated or wet, or weak soils. Some fine cracks appear in sloping ground. A few instances of liquefaction (i.e. small water and sand ejections).
    MMI VIII (Severe shaking) ?
    People Alarm may approach panic. Steering of motorcars greatly affected. Structures : Low standard buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. ordinary workmanship buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged in some cases. A few instances of damage to buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes. Monuments and pre-1976 elevated tanks and factory stacks twisted or brought down. Some pre-1965 infill masonry panels damaged. A few post-1980 brick veneers damaged. Decayed timber piles of houses damaged. Houses not secured to foundations may move. Most unreinforced domestic chimneys damaged, some below roof-line, many brought down. Environment : Cracks appear on steep slopes and in wet ground. Small to moderate slides in roadside cuttings and unsupported excavations. Small water and sand ejections and localized lateral spreading adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
    MMI IX (Violent shaking) ?
    Structures Many low standard buildings destroyed. Ordinary workmanship buildings heavily damaged, some collapse. Reinforced masonry or concrete buildings damaged, some with partial collapse. Buildings and bridges designed and built to resist earthquakes damaged in some cases, some with flexible frames seriously damaged. Damage or permanent distortion to some buildings and bridges, designed and built to normal use standards. Houses not secured to foundations shifted off. Brick veneers fall and expose frames. Environment : Cracking of ground conspicuous. Landsliding general on steep slopes. Liquefaction effects intensified and more widespread, with large lateral spreading and flow sliding adjacent to streams, canals, lakes, etc.
    Write your experience below + let us know if your property has been damaged (even slight damage) or if you have knowledge of any damage caused by this earthquake. (max. 500 characters)

    Comments

    1. Tom O'Donnell says:

      How can I get information and date about an earthquake I felt in about 1946/47, Kent, Washington area. It was my first quake. I was about 3-4 years old.
      Thanks,
      Tom

    2. You are missing a pretty good size earthquake - it was 1980. I was in Olalla, WA. It lasted for (I want to say) 8 minutes... is that possible? It was very long and "rolling." I thought that one was in the 6 mag range. I know you have one on there already, but it seems this one might have been later - like during the election... I seem to remember Ronald Reagan on television... either in a debate or after he won.

      :)
      Lauren

      • Armand Vervaeck says:

        Thanks Lauren - we take however the official list from teh American Seismological Agency USGS or NOAA

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