Thursday, April 30, 2015

50 Years Ago -- Earthquake rattles Western WA on April 29, 1965

DO you remember this?

Unstable Ground
  Fifty years ago this week, on April 29, 1965, a magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck Western Washington, causing seven deaths -- three from falling debris, and four from heart failure.
  Many buildings were damaged throughout the region, including the State Capitol Building, the Fisher Flouring Mills, and UW's Meany Hall -- built as an auditorium for the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition -- which had to be demolished. Other consequences were minor, such as a strange incident in Kirkland.

  The quake was one of the largest to hit the region since 1700, when a massive temblor created a tsunami that traveled to Japan. An earthquake in 1872 was later estimated to be 7.3 or 7.4 magnitude, and a magnitude 7.1 shaker struck in 1949, but lesser quakes have also rattled the state.
  A magnitude 5.5 quake on April 29, 1945, knocked chunks off of Mount Si near North Bend, and a magnitude 6.3 quake damaged buildings in Seattle's industrial area less than a year later.

  During the half century since the 1965 quake, only one Pacific Northwest temblor was larger -- the Nisqually quake of 2001, which registered at 6.8 on the Richter Scale. 
  Fortunately this quake was deeper than the 1965 quake and it caused fewer deaths and less damage, although the repair bills still surpassed $1 billion. 
  And given what we know about fault zones in the region, it's only a matter of time until the next big one strikes.
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