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What was that jolt last night in Whatcom County? Yep, earthquake

A minor earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 3.2 jolted Whatcom County near Sudden Valley at 11:50 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The white lines indicates ground motion and shaking intensity.
A minor earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 3.2 jolted Whatcom County near Sudden Valley at 11:50 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The white lines indicates ground motion and shaking intensity. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

A minor earthquake jolted Whatcom County residents awake just before midnight Tuesday, Sept. 6.

A post at the U.S. Geological Survey gave the tremor a preliminary magnitude of 3.2 at 11:50 p.m., centered 3.1 miles northeast of Sudden Valley. That puts the quake’s focus on the north shore of Lake Whatcom, near Agate Bay. Its depth was about 11 miles, according to the USGS.

Most of those who felt the quake described it as a window-rattling bump. No damage or injuries have been reported.

Nevertheless, residents took to social media sites immediately.

“Anyone hear that loud boom? I think we just had an earthquake,” Cindy Shepherd of Sudden Valley said on Facebook.

“House rocked a bit,” said @itsBillGill of Abbotsford, B.C., on Twitter.

Other Twitter users in Canada indicated the shaker was felt widely through the Fraser River Valley.

By 8 a.m. Wednesday, the USGS had received about 140 responses to the Sudden Valley quake through its citizen science reporting program.

An earthquake with a magnitude of 3 to 3.9 is considered minor. Such quakes are often felt, but rarely cause damage.

About 100,000 quakes of that magnitude occur annually, according to the USGS.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty

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