Year of earthquakes was typical on island

At least 27 earthquakes with a magnitude of 1.0 or more had epicenters on Whidbey Island or the surrounding waters this year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Compared to recent years, the amount of shaking is about average.

The largest earthquake of the year was a magnitude 2.6 earthquake with an epicenter near Freeland Nov. 25. A total of 166 people reported they felt it.

Only two people reported feeling a magnitude 2.3 earthquake Dec. 20 that was just south of Clinton.

The area with the most activity was in the water from about one to 10 miles northwest of Oak Harbor. A total of 10 temblors were reported, with magnitudes ranging from 1.1 to 2.3.

The largest earthquake with an epicenter on or around Whidbey Island for the last 20 years was a 4.0 quake in Coupeville on July 1, 2009, according to the USGS.

Earthquakes with magnitudes from 1.0 to 2.9 are considered “micro” and more than 100,000 are reported around the world each year. They usually are felt by a small number of people, according to the USGS. Magnitude 3.0-3.9 are considered “minor’ and those 4.0-4.9 are “light” and felt by just about everyone in the area.

Two fault lines with activity in the last 15,000 years cross Whidbey Island.

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