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Saturday, January 28, 2006


We just felt something a few minutes ago here in Northeast Portland. I think it was a quake. Sure felt like it -- and it seems to have been one from the looks of this.

UPDATE, 6:17 p.m.: The USGS has it as a 2.9, at coordinates that would put it right under the east ramps to the Morrison Bridge!

UPDATE, 6:23 p.m.: Now it's listed as a 2.8, and the epicenter is given as 31st and East Burnside!

UPDATE, 11:50 p.m.: Several TV stations and the O are reporting that it was alternatively under the Morrison Bridge (the first location given by the USGS, later revised), or a mile southwest of downtown (quoting some fellow from the University of Washington). But the USGS and the UW seismic folks are both still showing 31st and Burnside on the web, and so I'm sticking with that. You read it here first and most accurately, folks.

Comments (41)

Interesting dinner hour at Montage...

At our place, it was like three quick thumps. The whole house went up and down three times.

Yeah if I had still been at Laurelhurst where I was at a movie earlier, I realyl would have felt it. As it is, I definitely felt it at home.

My first earthquake. It felt like something crashed into my apartment building.

Yep, I felt it too. Thought a car ran into my building - I even ran outside to check. Windows were rattling for a few seconds, but no damage.

Felt it here, just south of Hawthorne on 30th.

If the initial reports are correct, the epicenter was less than three blocks from the headquarters of the Archdiocese of Portland. Think about it, Archbishop Vlazny!

Don't worry. City leadership is much smarter and better prepared than NO.

Vera is on call as well.

I was in the basement, folks were upstairs in the kitchen and no one felt ANYTHING....NE PDX-Killingsworth and MLK.....


I felt it more than the 6.8 (?) Seattle one as felt here in Portland. I don't remember distinct sharp bumps like you did, but lots of general shaking, enough to rattle everything on my desk. My wife, getting out of the shower, didn't feel it.

I didn't feel a thing out here in Mulino, about 10 miles south of Oregon City. I wouldn't have known anything except I had the radio on in the barn as I was feeding horses and heard it on the news.

Here at SE31st and Hoyt I thought my wife had jumped down the last three stairs in her Danska clogs.

We were sitting on the carpet, playing with baby. We definitely felt it, it started out with a jiggle (like a dump truck was dropping construction materials next door) with 4 or 5 sharp thumps followed by nothing. My wife and I started to get up to move baby to a "safer" location.

I told her we were either close to the epicenter of a small quake, or SFO just slid into the bay.

For a second I thought it was the kids jumping around downstairs. But the jolts were stronger than that.

i did not notice it whatsoever. weird.

I noticed it clear over here in Bend...but only after I saw a mention on Drudge.

I sure felt it here at work in downtown...

but I live at 31st and Burnside.

The google map points to my house. I hope my stuff isn't all broken.

Noticed it, most definitely, at 33rd and Powell.

Was at dinner in the Pearl.. didnt notice a thing.

but i am sure if i can stay awake until 10 pm it will be a crisis.

drop and roll everyone, drop and roll.

not from the quake, from the idiotic reporting.

Felt it in the Buckman 'hood.

I was just WAITING to see a post from Jack about the possible solution being a {rim shot} Tram over the eastside so surface traffic would have an alternative in case of another quake!

In the Brooklyn neigborhood we felt one good jolt and then some decent swaying. My sister out near 33rd and Lombard felt a similar effect. My parents out near 75th and Holgate felt nothing at all.

Not nearly as fun as the Ash Wednesday quake of 2001. I was in the NW industrial area (all built on fill) and we were swaying back and forth for quite a while.

The Richter Scale is bogus as here we have a 2.8 that was felt in Salem and we can have 5.0 at Mt. St. Helens that nobody in Vancouver notices.

Anybody game to create a new one?

Hilsy, nice to hear from you. I hope you are well.

Felt it here in tram [rimshot] central quite well, unfortunately.

One of the most obvious concerns the CTLH neighborhood raised with respect to the tram was the potential safety issues that might result from a quake in what amounts to the state's most geologically sensitive region, right alongside the Willamette River. We were, of course, assured that there would be no *possible* problems that could result.

Well, now that the upper tram tower supposedly needs to be engineered so that there can't be more than an eighth of an inch of torque (or some ridiculously small tolerance like that) or the cable will jump out of its track, you'd think the possibility of quakes even this small might cause some consternation. But, of course, we're dealing with the city.

My apologies for the cross-post, but I thought I'd mention again that NO TRAM TO OHSU's website is still up -- for those of you interested in seeing just how prescient the neighborhood was about all of this -- at I haven't updated it in years now and was thinking of taking it down to save the hosting fees, but it makes a good historical artifact of our 5+ year fight against Vera's Folly. I also answered another commenter's question about the neighborhood buyout in the comment thread for January 20, for those interested.

If you look at the below link (cut and paste):

you'll find the ISGS "Did you feel it?" website. Strangely, the most self-reports came in from zip code 97219 (200 reports), 97202 (Sellwood & Hosford/Abernethy @131 reports), and 97214 (Sunnyside/Richmond/Buckman/Hawthorne @ 130 reports).

I say strangely, because they said the quake was epicentered on the East Side, but the single biggest reporting Zip Code was 97219 (SW)... Higher percentage of internet access in SW? Larger population base in 97219? More SW residents interested in retail science or More Eastsiders away from home (and their computer) on a Saturday evening? Or, perhaps the shock waves actually reverberated with greater intensity 4 miles away than at the epicenter?

Is there a geologist in the audience?

I was in the balcony at Cinema 21, and it felt like somebody kicked my row of seats. I wondered if it might have been an earthquake, but assumed it was someone trying to squeeze out to get popcorn.


ps...I highly recommend "The Real Dirt About Farmer John"

Out in Rock Creek it felt like my hydraulic office chair lost pressure - The Seattle quake was much more intense from the same chair.

Attention: this just in from the Oregonian.

The east tram terminal site at SW Moody in North Macadam was liquidfied by yesterdays small earthquake. PATI, at an emergency board meeting last nite, has decided that the quick preliminary cost estimate to remove the 100,000 truck loads of liquified mush at a cost of $10.5M will finally put the tram over budget. The on-going excavations will be suspended until Commissioner Sam returns from Serbia exploring Tram Car designs before final determination is made on trashing the tram.

I was walking down SE 30th and didn't feel a thing.

Epicenter at 31st and E Burnside? Everyone sure it wasn't just a Motorhead CD on the overhead at Music Millennium?

You ignorant peasant.
The Tram is a linchpin.
It will be built.
There is no such thing as over budget.
The community has participated enough.
So shut up.

PS: Please Vote for the new I tax.

Didn't feel a thing in Troutdale.

Felt it at a friend's apartment at SE 13th & Stark. No one else there flt it and thought I was nuts, till I showed 'em the O article today.

Always check the blogosphere! There were at least two posts on it, up within eight minutes of its happening.

No way! We live off 30th and Burnside and did not feel a thing. How disappointing.

No way! We live off 30th and Burnside and did not feel a thing. How disappointing.

Lee: the Tram is being built in Switzerland...I believe it's the operating software that comes from Serbia. You would not believe how the US Dollar has fallen against the Serbian Kroner.

It's all those flyover houses tht made the tram so expensive, with all their meetings, complaining, and citizen involvement. What do they think this is, a democracy?

Vee have vays of keeping you QUIET, Mssr. Lee.

We live next to Washington Park, near the rose garden, and we felt it. My husband thought I was jumping down the stairs.

Off topic... Mr. T, why do people refer to their babies as "baby" as you did in your first comment? Why not "our baby" or "the baby"?

Good question Sid. Wish I knew the answer.

I would surmise it has something to do with economy of speech. Since the parental relationship is not in doubt, my/ours seems unnecessary.

An infant is such a consuming wife and I frequently wouldn't even refer to him by his name (or even "the baby"): he needs this, or he needs that, or he did this, or he seemed tired. It's our only topic of discussion, so it may just be easier to use fewer words. "We need to get some #4 Huggies for the baby if you go the store please" can easily be truncated to "#4's on your way home..."

That's all I got.

I was on the computer, upstairs at home, about a mile south from the epicenter (97202). I posted online then that I thought it was about 4.0 on the Richtor scale, but subsequent news reports scaled it at 2.9.

I felt it and knew immediately that it was an earthquake. It was about six seconds duration and everything did a e'er so modest side-to-side shimmy with rattling. It was definitely NOT a moving van going by in the street.

After I finished my posting, I got up and looked out the window to see if Pill Hill had slumped and flushed down the gully to its new spot down next to the river. It was still there.

Hmmmmm... as an addition to the posts concerning SW vs NE noticing the earthquake - I was sitting in the Lucky Lab in Multnomah Village and felt it. It was small, but noticeable. I looked up to see a couple others looking around strangely, but most folks didn't seem to notice anything.

And to follow up on Jim's post concerning Farmer John at Cinema 21, I had the misfortune that evening of viewing "Spike's and Mike's Sick and Twisted Animation Festival." Utterly disappointing, so don't waste your cash.

Too bad threads go dead so soon ... soon as my show comes on. I like how each of us has a special meaning for TV programming of our brains and we all call it the same thing: 'My show.' It's the possessive 'my' that I like about it. Not.

Soon as my show comes on I forget internet threads, they're dead, Jim.

Update since this thread ended: Our official quake Richter recorded in history books as 3.1, (replacing 2.9)

Question asked in thread how nearby areas don't feel, or don't feel as much, a quake. The wave \_/^\_/^ of 'shock' energy radiates from the collision point. Except not a line wave, as drawn, but rather a sheet wave, like concentric ripples in a pond. Except not a sheet wave, flat surface, but a spherical wave, like the pond is rising as a whale breaches and the pond's concentric ripples become concentric pimplelines and dimplelines on the balloon-shaped blubber of the whale.

Think of it like an archery target, with black and white rings. Rising from the epicenter toward your 'hood and spreading out as it rises. When white rings reach your street it pushes up, speed bump, but if a black ring comes up under you it pulls down. pot hole. Exacly between white and black rings there is no pavement movement.

White and black rings might be tens of feet or tens of miles wide. More or less. It could be felt here, not Troutdale, then again in Bend. It might be not felt in Seattle and felt in Juneau.

Every ratchet on the Richter means times ten. If a 3.0 floats your pavement 1 inch, then a 4.0 is 10 inches. (Five-point-oh = 100 inches, 6.0 = 1000 inches.) Obviously 3.0 is not 1 inch. The largest quakes are on the order of 100 feet, say, and that's probably the definition of a 10.0 by Richter, I don't know what he based his scale on. But a little razz-ama-tazz, seat of the pants, Kentucky windage, good legislated guess could put a 3.0 at 1/100th -to- 1/10th of an inch sidewalk motion. Measured between the height white rings boogey and the low black rings get down.

I was visiting a friend over Free Geek (inside Eastside, level with Marshall) at the time. I thought it was the neighboring apartment, like a drunk fell against the wall, I turned around to see the plasma TV on its stand still wobbling. And didn't think any more of it. My friend concentrated a 4-count, and then said "I think it was an earthquake." I was going to post it on the internet immediately but my show was on. Mostly I watch with my back to it.

So, the payoff, you've read this far, this fair. I think it was on your blog, Jack, I commented back around new year's time that the planets' alignment signified fires in mining and/or volcanoes during the first part of January. I was wrong -- the alignment persists.

Now a New and Improved Prediction specially formulated to take out the fearlessest daylights. About a week before 'our quake,' (conga nostra), I "received" (sorry, folks, that's just the way this works, all my life, I go along normal Norman and all of a sudden +bzzzzrrt+ there's a picture in my mind, same as if you might 'recall from memory' the face of a friend or something, in mind it is not like a sharp, distinct, hi-res image, but cognition clearly knows what it is 'looking' at), that the fabled Big One is soon. Predicting a massive earthquake likely before the equinox (Mar.20), I don't know, something like 8.5, in SoCal. The fearless might consider if advance knowledge could scare the living daylights out of a person.

Not really, since advance knowledge, like nineteen religious fanatic 9/11 hijackers, does not exist. (I 'received' this morning the thought comparison between Hitler scapegoating Jews and Bush scapegoating Moslems, and how it works so well for both of them with the supremer people who aren't scapegoated.) (I had a lady tour my house this morning who made a fifteen-minute point of it before she left to insure that 'I knew God,' she asked me first, then told me my answer.)

So earthquake predictions is only spit in the wind. Nobody knows these things. Disclaimer disclaimer disclaimer disclaimersclamation point. Don't believe any of it. It is not like you would be stupid enough to relay it to any hypothetical friend in LA or nothing, they'd think you were nuts and call you crazy. And especially there's no time when my show's about to come on.

Besides, there's the panic factor. False predictions just panic people unnecessarily, that's why broadcasters can't tell us what's coming, or WTC 7 fell down, or why JFK's skull blew out the back onto the limo trunk when he was shot from behind -- so we, the people don't be unnecessarily panicked. It's the moral ethics of the sobering weight of responsibility that comes with the job of being Broadcasting Biggie ... that weight along with the poundage of a million or two shlamolies in the purse, and that ain't play dough. Just don't nobody panic unnecessarily. Watch for your show. Stay tuned.

So I pre-visioned a quake, then a week later I was in the conga nostra line along Belmont and thought, okay, I was in one, that erases (cancels) the premonition. A week later, now: Not. Still got the hunch in the back of my neck. The Big One. Soon. (Something for example of really soon - tomorrow - also on all the stations, during our show then ... I'm not at unnecessary liberty to panic myself with. Mars square Mercury. Fire orthogonal Game. 'nuff said.)

So after my vision visitation, I cross-referenced the planets of it all, and found this one interesting alignment. The largest 'known' earthquake in North America was the New Madrid (MO) quake of eighteen-oh-six. ( Tecumseh called it, three months ahead -- tom-tom's went up and down the Hiawatha Trail in time, no native casualties. Film at eleven.) And we all remember The Great San Franciso quake of nineteen-oh-six. Now it's twenty-oh-six.

Except, the New Madrid quake was December, 1811. (That's what started the War of 1812 -- people got unnecessarily panicked. See?) And then there's the Puget Sound-registered quake (in tree ring dating), like January 1(?), 1700(?), which didn't get a Richter but did claim more fallen timber than Mt.St.Helen's little bit of blast bluster. I don't know if you've fallen any timber lately, to know, but it takes quite a bit a force to fall just one. Nevermind a forest-full my show's coming on.

Besides, nobody ever said the Big One would hit in North America. It could be out in the Pacific somewhere and we'd never know. There's just no way to tell these things in advance. The only times anyone cares about is: are when the trains run on, and when the show comes on. Fascistnating.


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