Earthquake swarm continues in Kitsap County; M3.5 quake hits off Whidbey Island

BREMERTON, Wash. — After a magnitude 3.6  earthquake -- the largest in a swarm of quakes over the past week near Bremerton -- happened early Thursday -- a quake has now hit off the coast of Whidbey Island.

The M3.5 quake happened off the southwest coast of Whidbey Island at about 11 a.m. Thursday.  People reported feeling it in Hansville, Seattle, Everett, Mukilteo, Lynnwood, Edmonds and Monroe, among other places.

Thursday morning's 3.6 earthquake east of Bremerton was nearly 1.6 times bigger and nearly two times stronger than Wednesday’s 3.4 in the same area.

The quake was reported at 12:35 a.m. There have been 18 quakes in that area in the last 24 hours.

Since midnight, there have been six more quakes in Kitsap County Thursday.

About 40 tremors have been recorded there in the last week.

The earthquake swarm is associated with the western edge of the Seattle fault, which runs from west Kitsap County due west to the Cascade foothills.

Seismologists at the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network have been watching the tremors, and they have a theory that the quakes are being caused by fluid moving underneath the earth's crust.

For that reason, they think the risk is only a little higher than normal for a bigger quake, which could bring catastrophic damage.

John Vidale with the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network says because the Seattle fault runs along the south end of the city, near the stadiums and buildings, it could cause a lot of damage in the city.

“Our worst fear is an earthquake on the Seattle fault. If the Seattle fault breaks on a 7, breaks right under the southern edge of the city, close to tall buildings and old buildings, that would be the worst case for the city of Seattle,” said Vidale.

Even though the magnitude 3.6 quake happened east of Bremerton, people on Facebook said they felt shaking in such places as Ballard, Issaquah and Edmonds.

One person wrote: "Definitely felt it in Port Orchard, sounded like someone was rushing up our steps before all the shaking started."

Another commented: "Felt it in Ballard ... a jolt and a little rolling for a few seconds after."

If you felt it,


As of 4:30 a.m. Thursday, 663 reported feeling the 3.6 quake to the USGS.

These tremors have reminded some people throughout the Puget Sound that they are still unprepared for a major earthquake.

Susan Sanders, who lives in Beacon Hill, has been working toward getting more emergency hubs established in the Seattle neighborhood.

“I was at the women’s march and realized that we couldn’t get cell phone coverage, because there were so many people trying to use their cell phones. And I started thinking, ‘what happens if there’s an emergency?’” Sanders said.

Emergency hubs have been registered throughout the city of Seattle, as places where people can go in the event of an earthquake, for assistance and information. Ideally, the hubs also have someone connected via radio with the city’s emergency operations center.

On a more hyper-local level, the state of Washington has encouraged a program called "Map Your Neighborhood," in which people would share information with neighbors on what skills and resources people have.