Moderate Earthquake Rattles Seattle Area; Thousands Lose Power
May. 03, 1996
SEATTLE (AP) _ A moderate earthquake struck the Seattle area Thursday night, briefly knocking out power to thousands and forcing the suspension of a major league baseball game. At least one person was injured, but no major damage was reported.
The 5.4 magnitude quake, felt as far away as 180 miles, hit just after 9 p.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey's Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo.
It last for 30 seconds and was followed by dozens of aftershocks, said Bill Steele, a seismologist with the University of Washington Geophysics Center.
The quake shook the Kingdome where the Seattle Mariners were playing the Cleveland Indians. The game, which was in the seventh inning, was suspended until Friday afternoon.
``It felt like the crowd was stomping, I could see concrete move. When it ended, everyone cheered,'' said fan Mark Mattson.
Becky Thomas added: ``We were swaying back and forth. I was scared, but I wanted the game to continue.''
The quake, believed to be the strongest in the state in more than three decades, was centered near Duvall, about 20 miles northeast of Seattle. A 33-year-old Duvall woman, who was not identified, fell and broke her arm during the quake, KING-TV reported.
``Everything on our stove flew off,'' Beth Marcey of Duvall told KING-TV. ``There's a little bit of broken glass and stuff like that. It was very strong, and it lasted long enough for us to go outside and still feel it.''
In Snohomish County, north of Seattle, the quake knocked out four power substations, said Andy Muntz, spokesman for the Snohomish County Public Utilities District. About 16,000 customers were affected, but most had power restored within hours.
A 5-magnitude quake is capable of producing moderate damage. Magnitude 6 causes severe damage under a populated area.