The peninsula has had a shaky May so far thanks to a series of minor earthquakes, felt as far east as Bellevue. The most recent, tangible series of quakes shook early Thursday morning, with a 3.6 at 12:34 a.m. and a 2.6 at 2:36 a.m.
Those come just a week after a 3.3-magnitude quake along the Seattle-Bremerton ferry route around noon on May 3.
The earthquakes are popping up along the Seattle Fault Zone, which runs from the Issaquah through Seattle’s stadium district to the Hood Canal. Update 5/12: PNSN wrote in a blog post that these earthquakes are too deep to be actually from the Seattle Fault Zone, although they are happening in the vicinity.
The Seattle Fault Zone is the one with the Big One lying in wait—not the terrifying Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake the New York Times wrote about, but the long-overdue earthquake we’ve been bracing ourselves for since the fault was discovered in 1992.
Don’t start running quite yet, though: seismologists at the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN) told KIRO 7 that their theory is that the quakes are caused by fluid running through the earth’s crust. They say the risk of the Big One is only slightly elevated compared to any other day.
This article has been updated since its original publication with additional information from PNSN.
- Did you feel that? Swarm of small quakes near Bremerton felt in Seattle, Bellevue [Seattle Times]
- Earthquake swarm continues in Kitsap County with 6 more overnight [KIRO 7]
- Earthquake swarm NE of Bremerton [PNSN]
- M 3.6 - 4km N of Enetai, Washington [USGS]
- Seattle Fault Zone is first described in Science on December 4, 1992 [HistoryLink]
- 3.3 magnitude earthquake recorded near Bremerton [MyNorthwest]
- Our Big One [Kitsap Sun]