Earthquake News

3.4 quake near Duvall prompts bridge inspections

DUVALL, Wash. - The Washington Transportation Department inspected four or five bridges in east King County as a precaution because of the Tuesday morning earthquake in the Duvall-Carnation area. The City of Seattle also inspected key structures.

The small quake with a magnitude of 3.4 at 5:21 a.m. The University of Washington reported the quake was centered about three miles northwest of Carnation and was about four miles deep.

"The earthquake was small ... but it was quite shallow, " said Bill Steele of the University of Washington Seismology Lab. "It's because people were so close to the break that they felt it as intensely as they did."

The State Department of Transportation inspected the Truss Bridge at Snoquamie Falls, the Tolt River Bridge and the bridge in Fall City over the Snoqualmie River where SR 202/203 merge.

The Seattle Department of Transportation inspected the Alaskan Way Seawall, the Magnolia Bridge, the Ballard Bridge, the 15th Ave Interchange and the Spokane Street Swing Bridge.

No damage was reported.

More than 600 people responded to the "Did You Feel It?" page on the USGS Web site. Most of the responses came from Duvall, Carnation and Redmond.

"I was sleeping next to my husband when the bed started shaking, I looked over at him and he said 'earthquake!'" said Carnation Resident Karen Droppo.

Residents told TV stations the quake sounded like thunder or a door slamming, and the shaking felt like a train or truck rumbling by, rattling mirrors, causing hanging lamps to swing and scaring dogs and cats.

Residents began calling KING 5 News moments after the quake.

Elizabeth Bunn of Duvall said she felt the shake for what seemed like 30 seconds. She said it woke up everyone in the house.

Anne Schifsky, who lives in Mill Creek, said she was lying in bed watching TV when it hit. She said she heard things rattling, felt the bed shake. She said it lasted about 10 seconds.

There were no reports of injuries or damage.

"I don't expect so (to hear of any damage) and probably for the people who felt it for many seconds, it was really their building that kept swaying," said Steele. "The ground had stopped but the energy put into their building by that little quake rocked them back and forth a little longer."

Asked if the area should expect any aftershocks, Steele said it is possible but not any large ones.

"This was fairly small but on May 7th back in 1996 there was a 5.3 (quake) in this area, the Duvall Earthquake we called it," said Steele. "Certainly this area can produce big earthquakes so it is certainly possible having a larger earthquake or some small ones. But with a 2.7 you wouldn't expect a vigorous aftershock sequence."

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