Earthquake News

Nisqually Earthquake - February 28, 2001 Magnitude 6.8

2001 Nisqually earthquake

Source: Wikipedia

On February 28, 2001, at 10:54:32 local time, the Nisqually earthquake struck and lasted for about a minute. The intraslab earthquake had a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII and a moment magnitude of 6.8. (Severe). Although the epicenter was in the southern Puget Sound, northeast of Olympia, Oregon, British Columbia, eastern Washington, and Idaho all experienced the jolt. This was the most recent of three significant earthquakes that shook the Puget Sound region over a 52-year span and resulted in $1 to $4 billion in property damage. Several hundred people were hurt, and one person passed away from a heart attack.

Due to the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate subducting beneath the North American Plate at a rate of 3.5 to 4.5 centimeters per year as part of the Cascadia subduction zone, the Puget Sound region is vulnerable to deep earthquakes. Rare mega thrust events, like the Cascadia earthquake of 1700, shallow events within the North American Plate, and deeper intraslab events inside the Juan de Fuca Plate as it descends into the mantle are all observed in the region. The most damage has been caused by the third category of earthquakes. On April 29, 1965 (magnitude 6.7, depth 59 km (37 mi)), and April 13, 1949 (magnitude 6.7, depth 50 km (31 mi), there were significant intraslab earthquakes in the same approximate area.

Although there were no fatalities that might be directly linked, one heart attack death was reported by local news sources. There were 400 or so injuries. The majority of property damage took place in or very next to unreinforced concrete or masonry structures, like those in Seattle's First Hill, Pioneer Square, and SoDo neighborhoods. On First Hill, the Trinity Parish Church sustained significant damage. At Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the air traffic control tower suffered significant damage; a more earthquake-resistant tower has since taken its place. The capitol building in Olympia suffered some minor damage from the earthquake, although more significant damage was prevented by earlier earthquake-resistance improvements. Seattle's downtown was also devastated by power disruptions. Fort Meade, home of the U.S. and Lewis

Numerous local buildings and infrastructure were temporarily shuttered for examination after the earthquake. This includes a number of bridges, every state agency in Olympia, and Boeing's manufacturing facilities in the Seattle region. Statewide, numerous schools were also shuttered on that day. After suffering significant damage, the Fourth Avenue Bridge in Olympia's downtown was later demolished and rebuilt. The Alaskan Way Viaduct and its seawall were damaged in Seattle, necessitating immediate repairs, which ultimately led to the decision to replace the viaduct with the SR 99 Tunnel and expand Alaskan Way on its former site. A 9.0 MW earthquake can be withstood by the new tube.

The state of Washington sustained damage of $2 billion and insured losses of about $305 million. President George W. Bush designated the region as a natural disaster area, enabling it to receive government recovery funding. Businesses were few in number in the area that was severely damaged. Businesses in the vicinity of the severely impacted area suffered direct losses to the tune of at least 20%, with direct losses to the tune of 2% exceeding $10,000. None of these companies received federal assistance or insurance coverage for direct losses.

Many firms received no assistance at all. Those who did receive aid weren't given assistance for indirect losses. Indirect losses included things like productivity loss, inventory or data corruption, and workplace disturbance. Losses of data and merchandise may have been the most detrimental, particularly for retail shops. After the earthquake, retail shops temporarily lost customers and goods. Well-structured buildings were one of the most important factors in preventing harm and destruction. This can stop both stock loss and human life. Businesses that did not suffer significant damage also felt a sense of security, albeit it may not be reliable given that the hypocenter was well below the earth's surface and the moment magnitude was high.

This earthquake had a magnitude of 6.8 and caused $2 billion in damages, but the Northridge earthquake had a magnitude of 6.7 and caused more than $20 billion in damages since its hypocenter was shallower and closer to the earth's surface.

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