Earthquake rumbles Tuesday near Kent
By LAURA PIERCE
Kent Reporter Contributor
October 14, 2008 · Updated 5:02 PM
An earthquake measuring 2.0 on the Richter scale rumbled near Kent Tuesday afternoon, but there wasn't any immediate damage to report.
In fact, local officials weren't aware there had even been a tremor.
Kent Fire Department public information officer Kyle Ohashi, contacted several hours after the quake, said he hadn't been notified.
Rosalee Givens, a facilities assistant in the city's facility maintenance department, said her office wasn't aware of it either.
The quake - small enough to be called a "microquake" by seismologists - rattled in at 1:39 p.m. about two miles southeast of Kent and three miles north of Auburn. Taking place about 24 1/2 miles underground, the small shock didn't generate any immediate reports of property damage.
Rafael Abreu, a geophysicist for the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo., on Tuesday confirmed there had been a quake.
"It's a pretty normal quake for that area," Abreu said, noting the Puget Sound area sits atop sections of the earth's crust that are known for movement.
Called the "Cascadia Subduction Zone," the area involves one segment of the earth's crust (known as a "tectonic plate,") moving under another tectonic plate.
"It's part of the tectonic plate process going on in the area," Abreu said, noting small quakes are a common part of that movement.
But he did note that while Tuesday's rumble wasn't much, it's a reminder of bigger things to come for the Puget Sound area, thanks to the Cascadia Subduction Zone.
"A larger earthquake is a definite possibility," he said. "It's not a matter of if, but a matter of when. The population should really, really be aware ... there is a significant seismic hazard in the area."
Data on the Oct. 14 Kent-area quake:
Date-Time: Oct. 14, 20:39:18
Location: 47.350 degrees North, 122.206 degrees West
Depth: 39.3 km (24.4 miles)
Region: Seattle-Tacoma urban area, Washington
Distances: 2 miles SSE from Kent; 3 miles N from Auburn; 4 miles SSW from East Hill-Meridian
Source: USGS Earthquake Hazards Program
For more information, log on to://earthquake.usgs.gov/Contact Kent Reporter Contributor Laura Pierce at firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-872-6600 ext. 5050.