A 4.5 magnitude earthquake shook the Puget Sound area of Washington state early Friday morning, January 30, 2009 according to the USGS. The good news is that surrounding infrastructure seems to have weathered the seismic event without damage.
The quake, at a depth of 36 miles, occurred at 5:25 a.m. and was centered 14 miles northwest of Seattle near Kingston in Kitsap County.
According to DOT spokeswoman Kristy Van Ness, crews remain in the field doing follow-up checks of bridges and other support structures. Initial examinations were made with flashlights in the dark, with no reports of damage.
The University of Washington is reporting it as a 4.5 quake on the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network. It was felt throughout the Puget Sound area in Western Washington. There were reports that the quake was felt in Victoria, British Columbia, 71 miles to the north.
Seismic Network director John Vidale said the quake was from the same general source as the 6.8 magnitude Nisqually earthquake of Feb. 28, 2001. That quake disrupted operations at SeaTac International Airport, and damaged the Capitol building in Olympia as well as the Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle.
Small quakes are common in the Pacific Northwest. This morning’s quake was the largest in Washington since October 2006.
More photos below, including an aerial shot.