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Wednesday, 21 November 2007 00:18

Earthquake Rattled the Pacific Northwest, but Damage is Minimal

Written by  Janette Ballman

When a 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Seattle and the Pacific Northwest area on February 28, 2001, damage was held to a minimum, thanks to a decade of earthquake preparation and a fault located deep inside the Earth. The earthquake struck at 10:55 a.m. and was the worst to hit the area in more than 50 years. The earthquake crumbled some buildings, buckled sidewalks and injured nearly 400 people. Officials estimate damage will exceed $2 billion dollars, but experts say the total could have been much worse if it weren’t for the depth of the fault and the efforts made by area officials to prepare for quakes. The earthquake occurred on a fault located about 33 miles underground - a fact that saved the region from intense damage. According to the U.S. Geological Survey’s hazards team, the temblor’s energy had to travel 30 miles in every direction from its point of origin before