Sherwood quake hit along unknown fault line

Sherwood quake hit along unknown fault line

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by Frank Mungeam, KGW.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on April 7, 2014 at 6:15 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 7 at 6:14 PM

SHERWOOD, Ore. -- A 3.3-magnitude earthquake was recorded near Sherwood Sunday evening, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake struck at 8:33 p.m. local time and was measured at a depth of about 12 miles. The epicenter of the quake was reported to be 7.5 miles north/northwest of Newberg, along a previously unknown fault. 

There were no immediate reports of damage and it only lasted about three minutes, but Melissa Graves recognized the rumble she felt right away.

"Everybody asked, 'How was it? Are you okay?' We had family calling in, making sure we were alright," she said.

The quake was a reminder of where we live, but not cause for alarm, Portland State University geology professor Scott Burns told KGW late Sunday evening.

He said what grabbed the most attention of geologists was the fault where the quake happened.

"It's in areas where we don't have a fault mapped," Burns explained.  “If we have three or four in the same area, in the Portland area, for instance, we say ‘Ooh, what’s going on?' People a lot of times ask, ‘Is that a precursor to a big one?’ We don’t know and so we just keep monitoring them and if we have additional ones then maybe something is happening.”

There is a lesson here, Burns added. Is your house prepared for a quake? Do you have a plan for contacting your children?

More: USGS magnitude report

"We felt it in Tigard at about 8:35 p.m., as did our neighbors who came out of their homes to see if others had felt the 'JOLT' too," Glenn Comuntzis wrote to KGW.

"I heard a big thud and then the bed started shaking," said Carol Woolverton of Beaverton, "I was upstairs. My husband was downstairs on the other side of the house and heard the thud as well.  My son who lives off of Southwest Scholls Ferry and Southwest Davies in Beaverton heard and felt the same thing."

Share your experience: Did you feel it?

According to the USGS a smaller quake of 1.6 preceded the 3.3 quake by 10 minutes. 

Just last week, an 8.2-magnitude quake off the coast of Chile sparked tsunami warnings and refocused attention in Oregon on the risks for a large-magnitude Cascadia Subduction Zone quake in the Northwest. 

More: Geologists say northwest overdue for the Big One

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