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Small Quake Shakes Just Off Oregon Coast, California Coast

Published 08/11/2017 at 6:23 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Small Quake Shakes Just Off Oregon Coast, California Coast

(Brookings, Oregon) – The USGS reports a 4.5 magnitude quake struck off the southern tip of the Oregon coast on Thursday at almost 11 a.m. (Graphic courtesy USGS).

No tsunami alert was issued. There are no reports of it being felt, much less causing damage or injury to people.

The quake happened a litle more than miles out to sea, almost directly west of the California / Oregon border – about 115 miles northwest of Eureka, Ca. and a little less than that from Brooking, Or.

This was a shallow quake a little more than one kilometer in depth, and a little closer to shore than usual as most undersea quakes off the Oregon coast tend to occur 200 to 300 miles offshore. It happened along the Blanco Fracture Zone, which is where the Juan de Fuca plate and the Pacific Plate are scraping up against each other.

It took place closest to what is known as the Gorda Ridge, an area of steep underwater valleys that is caused by the tectonic action in the area.

These kinds of quakes are not unusual for the region, although it will one day cause a massive geologic event that will result in a major quake and tsunami. The last such quake happened in 1700 and was documented by tsunami events in Japan.

Small quakes and clusters of quakes happen approximately 20 times per year in that region.

Most recently, a 4.1 rattler shook the sea floor in early July. It also caused no injuries and was not felt anywhere, but it caused a bigger fury on social media than Thursday's rumble.

The USGS said it takes a 7.0 quake to create a tsunami.

You can keep up with Pacific ocean earthquakes in the Northwest and west coast with the Live Earthquake, Tsunami Updates from Oregon Coast, Washington. B.C., California, Alaska section.

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