EARTHQUAKE UPDATE AND DAMAGE REPORT
- Glory and praise be to God! Thank you for your concern and prayers.
We are mostly all right here in the Puget Sound region. The structural
damage is relatively minor and mostly involves the older buildings in the
oldest part of downtown Seattle, as well as the WA State Capitol building
dome which was shifted on its base about 3/4 inch. It has also suffered a
crack in one of the support pillars. Many cars sitting under the older
buildings have been demolished from debris falling onto them. Many bridges
and overpasses have had damage, as well as some of the major traffic
routes, so today we are having backups and difficulty getting around. I
have read E-mails today about houses in the Tacoma, Olympia, Southend
(Seattle) that have received structural damage; however, most of this is
not serious with cracked walls and foundations; falling items from cases
and cupboards; falling tiles from bathroom walls, etc. There is a lot of
talk on the news about FEMA and earthquake insurance policies.
There are reports that the shaking went on from 30 to 45 seconds, and many
people were wondering (including yours truly) if this was the BIG ONE that
has been predicted for this region.
Below are some reports I wrote from yesterday's news, as I received it from
our local television stations here in the Seattle area, just after the
earthquake and also during the following hours. Today, we are being told
there have been aftershocks; one at a magnitude of 3.4 at about 1:10 a.m.,
and another one of a 2.7 at about 6:27 a.m. The Sea-Tac International
Airport is very slow, as the control tower's window and structure supports
have been significantly damaged; they are operating from a make-shift
building. Flights in and out of Seattle are very limited. There are around
200 injured throughout the Seattle region. Two people died from a fire,
but it is not known if this was earthquake related, or not. There are a
lot of cleanups going on today at the businesses in Seattle, especially
Some of are feeling uneasy, irritable, uneasy; I think there is a lot of
PTS going around. Thank you all for your prayers; we still need them.
From February 28, 2001:
>Subject: Fwd: A S H A K E R! SHOCKER----------
>These posts were sent to family and friends in Eastern WA just after the
>earthquake. I updated it a little before sending on.
>Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2001 11:49:17 -0800
>Subject: A S H A K E R! SHOCKER
>At around 11:00 a.m. today, we were rockin' and rollin' here in
>Edmonds. We now know the epicenter was just South of Seattle -- a 6.8!
>It lasted for at least 30 seconds (a long one); George was on the phone,
>and I yelled at him to get out of his bedroom that has bookshelves full of
>books. He had to break off on one of his interpreting phone calls --
>something he is not supposed to do, ever. But, after I yelled at him a
>couple of times, and he felt the shaking, actually more ROLLING, he got up
>and came out into the hallway with me.
>I am listening to the television now. We are seeing one fire on a roof of
>a building on a West Seattle warehouse, from the television helicopter camera.
>We thought it was another one on the Duvall fault, like the one we had in
>1996 (a 5.4) which was only felt in this area. But today, I could tell
>that if this was one of "the big ones" it had to have hit Seattle. Sure
>enough, it was! Usually we do not feel their earthquakes out here, but
>during this past week I have been feeling little movements out here while
>in our apartment.
>The TV station had their big lights in the ceilings fall down. Only
>damage report, so far. Many people in the high rises downtown got pretty
>well shaken up; some ran out of the buildings. Downtown is built on fill
>sand, and if we have a big one, all of that area will be in BIG trouble.
>George and I braced ourselves against the walls in our hallway, the only
>space away from all glass, except for the light fixture. You can believe
>there were a lot of prayers being said.
>Last night during Mari gras, there were thousands of people in the streets
>in Pioneer Square past 2:00 a.m. It is lucky for them this did not happen
>last night. Already they are showing bricks on the streets from the older
>buildings in downtown Seattle. No fires are seen from the TV helicopters;
>no reports of any gas mains broken, so far.
>We had seismic reports of first, 6.2, then 6.4; later, it was 7.0, then
>down graded to a 6.8 at Golden, CO. It was 35 miles deep, which is deep,
>and it is considered to be very damaging. We are concerned there will be
>after shocks, or there could be a larger quake hit, again. A large quake
>could hit the Puget Sound region at any time (a 9.0 or less). If that one
>hits, please, please say as many prayers for all of us as you can.
>If this activity continues over a period of several days, it could
>indicate that the large one will hit. We will get out of here and head
>east, if further quakes continue to happen. This morning, CHELAN; it was
>a 3.0. This could also be an indication of seismic activity at Mt.
>Raineer. Did you feel it there in the Tri-Cities? What about the one today?
>We are hearing that buildings were swaying in Portland for 30 seconds;
>Spokane also felt this earthquake. We are seeing that in Pioneer Square,
>there is extensive damage to buildings and parking lots. The epicenter is
>south of Tacoma. There may be even more damage in that area, than in this
>area. 30 miles deep; 6.2 from the Alaska seismic center. And, they are
>concerned about a tsunami hitting our area. That means downtown Edmonds
>would have to evacuate, and they would not have much time to do so --
>perhaps two to five minutes.
>We are hearing that some damage was done to Harborview Hospital (the main
>hospital downtown); they can still receive critical patients who are
>injured, but they do have structural and water pipe/gas line damage inside
>Power is out to 17,000 people from this earthquake. The phone lines are
>over used and we cannot get an out line, including land and cell phones.
>----------------------UPDATE---------------------------- (Con't from 2-28-01)
>The strongest earthquake since 1949's 7.1.
>Sea-Tac is shut down, due to damage; there are injured people at
>harborview, some are critical, from the earthquake. We have heard on TV
>news there has been a hotel in Olympia (the Olympia Hotel) that had its
>elevator shaft collapse - ten people are unaccounted for. There are land
>slides in numerous areas, closing down streets and highways. There was a
>serious accident on Hwy. 18 (near Renton), a semi jackknifed and hit a
>car, there may be fatalities. (The ten people were later found and were okay.)
>We are lucky it has not been raining during the past week; the damage
>would have been much worse to foundations and due to land slides.
>Uof W seismology lab is saying: Golden Colorado has come up with a 7.0
>magnitude. The earthquake was 30 miles deep on the Nisqually Delta, we
>will not have many after shocks, due to the depth. Not a sign of more
>earthquakes in the months ahead. Thank God! They are saying this was NOT
>the BIG ONE! There could be a much larger quake hit Seattle, still. If
>that happens on a Seattle fault, there will be much more serious damage done.
>The south wing of the Harborview walk-in clinic of the Medical Center has
>been evacuated. There is not major damage to the hospital and it is still
>open. There has been some minor damage to this building, however.
>Some serious damage has been done in Pierce County. The WA State Capital
>Building has a big crack in the dome. They are still getting information
>about the damage done in that County.
>Most schools are still open in Seattle. The schools are being checked for
>King County Executive, Ron Sims, has just declared a "state of emergency"
>for King County. The WA State Ferry system is shut down, due to structural
>damage inspection to the docks. The control tower at Sea-Tac, has their
>big windows were blown out. Sea-Tac is still shut down. The major dock in
>Seattle, Coleman, just reopened. (Later, Mayor Schell declared the City of
>Seattle to be a disaster area; Gov. Gary Locke has declared WA State to be
>in a "state of emergency".)
>The Cedar River is jamed up, due to downed trees and a land slide. Much
>of Seattle's water comes from this River and it is now 90% clogged.
>That's about all I can add right now; I am having a problem getting mail
>out, even on @HOME cable. We are being told not to use the phones -- the
>lines are over loaded.
>(Later reports: Beside the 17,000 who are without power in Seattle, there
>are also about 200,000 additional power outages in the area. There are
>about 120 people in the hospitals from injuries. One fire to a house. Two
>workers were knocked out of a "cherry picker" bucket while working on a
>highway overpass -- they were seriously hurt, as they fell about 30
>feet. 911 is out in downtown Seattle, due to the evacuation of the
>Courthouse. The calls are being diverted to other 911 stations. Many
>back-road highways have damage and are shut down. There are large cracks
>and even some holes, developing sinkholes and there are also
>landslides. We are hearing a lot of sirens in the Edmonds, Hwy. 99,
>area. There could be "delayed damage" electrical fires here in some of
>the businesses, and/or heart attacks from "earthquake stress". Most of
>the Olympia State government buildings are closed until they are
>inspected; damage has been found in some of these buildings. The
>Governor's Mansion has some damage and the First Family will be staying
>elsewhere. All Boeing workers have been sent home.)
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