How Often Do We Have Earthquakes?


By By Steve Pool

SEATTLE - The University of Washington Seismology Department says typically, the Northwest gets about 1,000 quakes a year greater than a magnitude of 1.0, but only about 25 or so are strong enough to be felt -- usually at least a 2.5 or 3.0 magnitude.

As far as damaging quakes go, there have been 25 in Washington and Oregon since 1872 in which about 17 people have been killed.

In the greater Puget Sound region, we've had 12 quakes of magnitude 5.0 or larger since 1900, so that averages out to roughly one every 8 years, but they can come in bunches.

Seattle went 30 years (1965-1995) without a quake over 5.0, but have had four in the eight years since.

For More Information:

UW Seismology Lab --

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