Major quake rocks Washington

BY PJ HELLER | SEATTLE, Wash. | February 28, 2001

"I don't mind saying my heart was firmly lodged in my throat," said one Seattle-area resident. "The utter sense that I had no control over the

situation was pretty danged frightening. I've been in several tornadoes and a hurricane, but those you can generally get awayfrom. Earthquakes. . . well, you just can't."

The quake, which occurred at 10:55 a.m. PST near Seattle, shattered windows in the downtown area and knocked out power to more than 17,000 residents in the city. Telephone service was also disrupted. The wall of at least one building collapsed and people were evacuated from

other buildings, including City Hall. The County Courthouse was ordered closed.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the control tower at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport was damaged by the quake and temporarily closed the airport.

Buildings in Portland, OR, swayed for up to half a minute, according to witnesses.

There were no immediate reports of serious damage. Only one injury was initially reported.

Emergency management officials in Washington were reporting to the state emergency operations center south of Tacoma.

The temblor was felt as far away as 700 miles in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The quake was centered about 35 miles southwest of Seattle near Olympia. The epicenter was close to a quake that hit April 13, 1949,

according to the USGS. That 7.1 temblor killed eight people.

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake struck near the Seattle area on Jan. 28, 1995. Another quake, thius one measuring 6.5, hit on April 29, 1965 and

killed seven people.

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