What's The Largest Quake Ever In Washington?

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By By Steve Pool

SEATTLE - Most of us remember the 6.8 Nisqually Quake of 2001, which was the largest in a while, but historically, there have been even larger quakes -- including a 7.1 quake centered near the same spot near Olympia on April 13, 1949.

But the largest quake ever recorded in our area occurred Jan. 26, 1700 off the Washington Coast. No one has an exact magnitude, but it's estimated at over 9.0. It dropped the coastal floor 3-6 feet and caused a huge tsunami to strike Japan.

Closer to Seattle, seismologists have found evidence of a quake measuring around 7.4 about 1,100 years ago on a fault that runs through Seattle. While quakes of those size are incredibly rare, it's a good reminder to always be prepared.

For More Information:

UW Seismology Lab -- www.geophys.washington.edu

Washington History Link Info On 1/26/1700 Quake -- www.washington.historylink.org

Large Washington Quakes -- www.geocities.com/seiswash

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