A magnitude-3.5 earthquake centered 13.9 miles northeast of Aberdeen occurred just before noon Sunday.
“Most people didn’t even feel it,” said Charles Wallace, deputy director of Emergency Management for Grays Harbor County. “I was in town when it happened, and didn’t notice it.”
Part of the reason, Wallace explained, is that it was pretty deep — about 22 miles down. If it had been closer to the surface, more people would have felt it, he said.
Small quakes are not uncommon to this area, mostly quakes ranging between 1 and 2 in magnitude. This is because there are several fault lines in Grays Harbor County, and more are being discovered all the time, Wallace said. “There are two new ones that are not even on our paperwork yet,” said Wallace. “We are really getting a lot more information than we have ever had.”
Scientists from all over the country have been drawn to Washington because of constant seismic activity in the volcanic Cascade Range, or Cascadia as it has come to be known.
Residents should understand the impact from a future earthquake could range from not feeling anything at all, to an event that will create extreme chaos, destruction and casualties.
And the larger the disaster event — the longer response time agencies will need to reach those affected, so having a family plan for natural disaster is extremely important for all families in the Pacific Northwest. said Wallace.
“We used to have a three-day plan, but now the guideline is for people to be prepared to be on their own for 14 days following a natural disaster,” said Wallace.
He also suggests that Sunday’s quake be taken as a gentle reminder to prepare for a much more significant event.
For more information about disaster preparedness, contact Grays Harbor County Emergency Management at GHCDEM@co.grays-harbor.wa.us or (360)964-1575