What to do when an earthquake hits
Four small earthquakes — all within about a mile-long stretch of the San Juan Channel — shook the east coast of San Juan Island near Friday Harbor on Friday, April 5.
The largest of the quakes, which hit at 1:04 p.m. approximately five miles north-northeast of Friday Harbor, had only a magnitude of 2.5, according to the United State Geological Survey, meaning it was unlikely few on San Juan Island felt the tremors, let alone 30 miles away in Bellingham.
According to the Pacific Northwest Scientific Network, the 2.5-magnitude quake was the latest in a string of small quakes just off the east coast of San Juan Island. Other quakes in the string include:
▪ A 2.2 magnitude quake at 12:52 p.m.
▪ A 1.6 magnitude quake at 12:49 p.m.
▪ A 1.4 magnitude quake at 12:43 p.m.
▪ A 1.7 magnitude quake at 10:39 a.m. Thursday.
The Pacific Northwest Scientific Network measured the depths of the five quakes Thursday and Friday between 6.7 and 9.6 miles below the Earth’s surface, and the epicenters of all five occurred were within about a mile of each other.
Clusters of earthquakes in Western Washington are not all that uncommon.
On March 14, the Vancouver Sun reported that there were a cluster of 200 to 300 small seismic events in about a 24-hour period observed between Victoria, B.C., and Seattle.
Natural Resources Canada seismologist John Cassidy told the Sun that it usually takes a few days to determine if clusters of small tremors are something to worry about, such as an episodic tremor and slip period, or just a little burst that will vanish in a few days.