Minor earthquake jolts Whidbey residents

A 3.1-magnitude earthquake struck about two miles offshore from Ebey’s Landing Wednesday night, delivering a brief jolt to many Whidbey Island residents while others slept through it.

The earthquake occurred at 10:07 p.m. between Port Townsend and Whidbey Island at a depth of about 14 miles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

It mostly got the attention of residents in Coupeville, Oak Harbor and Port Townsend but also was felt as far away as Quilcene and Camano Island.

The temblor felt like a high wind slamming the house and only lasted a few seconds, said Richard Vaughn, who lives at Polnell Point on North Whidbey.

Others on the Whidbey News-Times’ Facebook page described it as a boom, a jolt or subtle shift beneath them, causing dogs to bark or act strangely. One said it caused their bed to shake. Another said it closed doors.

A Freeland resident near Smuggler’s Cove Road said she felt her house moving.

Many also reported snoozing through it.

Earthquakes with a magnitude between 3.0 and 3.9 are classified as minor, rarely cause damage and occur over 100,000 times a year around the world, according to the USGS.

The last earthquake of note felt by Whidbey residents was a 3.5-magnitude temblor recorded in the San Juan islands about 11 miles northwest of Oak Harbor last April. It was felt as far away as Coupeville.

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