Tuesday, June 14, 2005

It's Happened---Earthquake on the North Coast

Here in Arcata at a little before 8 local time, I felt the rippling beneath my chair. The room rocked a bit, not enough to be alarming, but longer than I've experienced here before.

So I was bit surprised to see on the earthquake map what had happened: a pretty big one, a 7.0 offshore, looks to be in the subduction zone, about 80 to 90 miles off the coast, between here and Crescent City to the north.

The AP is reporting that a tsunami warning has been issued, and some evacuation is proceeding in Crescent City. A few of our friends in McKinleyville are heading for higher ground with other friends in the mountains. We're on the ridge near Humboldt State, and on the maps Lori Dengler and others prepared of tsunami hazards locally, we're in the white (no danger) zone, and that's for an even stronger quake.

Tsunami waves radiate out from the quake itself, and can travel at hundreds of miles an hour, so I suspect that our coast should be feeling something soon.

Otherwise it's quiet in the neighborhood. I don't think many people here even felt it, although there are at least 60 reports to the CA earthquake center from Eureka, and a couple from San Francisco---even one from L.A. This zone travels way up the coast to Vancouver as well. It's interesting that online there doesn't seem to be a source of really timely information. It's been more than an hour and all I've seen is the one brief AP story on the SF Chronicle site. And the real-time reports on the CA earthquake site.

UPDATE: As of 920, a new AP story says the tsunami warning has been called off.

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