SEATTLE, WA — Thousands of people across Puget Sound and beyond experienced the magnitude 4.6 earthquake that struck early Friday morning in Snohomish County, the strongest earthquake to hit the Seattle area since the 2001 magnitude 6.8 Nisqually quake.
The earthquake, initially reported as a magnitude 4.4, struck just before 3 a.m. a few miles west of Monroe. The quake was felt as far away as Yakima and British Columbia, according to the PNSN. Eight more small quakes followed the main one, including a magnitude 3.5.
, who lives about 3 miles east of downtown Monroe, said the earthquake woke up everyone in her house with intense but brief shaking. At first, she thought her dog was having a seizure.
“It was short, but very intense,” she said, adding that the shaking only lasted about four seconds. Nothing in Giovannoni’s home was damaged.
Others in the region reported a similar experience. Woodinville resident Paul Johnson told Patch that the quake lasted about 4 seconds, with “pretty good side-to-side movement.”
In Kirkland, Stacey Sanner told Patch the quake woke her up, and at first she thought it her husband tossing and turning in bed. In Bellevue, Nancy Neupert said she woke up around 3 a.m. and asked her Alexa device for an update after being unable to find local news about the event.
The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said that there were no reports of damage after the quake.
More reactions from around the region
“Yes, I felt it, I thought it was my neighbors swinging on the trapeze downstairs!” — Brigid in Seattle
“Felt it in Carnation, but went back to sleep because it wasn’t very frightening. Born and raised in Seattle but moved out to the Snoqualmie Valley years ago, I’m used to minor quakes.” — Connie Berqguist
“I was working way late and there was no doubt in my mind what was happening. Odd how infrequently this happens in such a fault laden region.” — Bryant Hill, Mercer Island
“I did not. My grandmother in AZ sent me a text asking if I’d felt the earthquake, and I was like ‘what earthquake?'” — Jeannie Havins, Seattle
“I felt it this morning. My cat went under my bed but only for a couple minutes. The bedroom door was shaking.” — Erika Valberg, Woodinville
“My sister near Woodinville HS, said it was shaking her bed!” — Sue Harms, Bellevue
The last strong earthquake near Seattle in recent years was a magnitude 4.2, which hit in February 2017 under the Kitsap Peninsula near Silverdale. In May 2017, a 3.6 struck near Bremerton. The 2001 Nisqually quake caused widespread damage across the region, and one person died of a heart attack.
The Monroe area has not been very seismically active in recent decades, according to historic PNSN data. There was a magnitude 5.4 along Cherry Creek east of Duvall in 1996. A handful of smaller quakes were detected in the immediate Monroe area in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1990s.
There are scores of fault lines under Puget Sound, and most pose a high earthquake risk. The most potentially destructive is the Seattle fault, which runs east to west from Lake Sammamish to Bremerton, and is capable of producing a quake of up to a magnitude 7. Friday’s earthquake was not related to the Cascadia Subduction Zone.
The earthquake comes at a time of increased seismic activity up and down the West Coast. California last week was rocked by some of the strongest earthquakes that state has seen in recent years, including a magnitude 7.1 on July 5.
In the Pacific Northwest, the Mt. Hood area has been experiencing a swarm of earthquakes in recent days, although seismologists do not believe those quakes are foreshadowing a volcanic eruption.