6.2 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Off Oregon Coast, Felt 220 Miles Away In Portland

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An earthquake and following aftershocks rocked the south-central Oregon coast this morning, CBS News reports.

Just after 1:30 a.m. Pacific time, the United States Geological Survey charted an earthquake more than 170 miles (264 kilometers) west of Coos Bay. The preliminary magnitude was measured at 6.2 on the Richter scale. Though centered 220 miles away from Portland, residents there reported feeling the trembling from the earthquake. Approximately two hours after the initial earthquake, an aftershock was recorded at 3.5 on the Richter scale. According to Newsweek, a second aftershock was reported shortly after the first measuring at 3.2 on the Richter scale.

The disturbance originated 6 miles (10 kilometers) beneath the surface of the ocean. Robert Sanders of the United States Geological Survey has stated there is no concern about a resulting tsunami from the early morning quake. According to KOIN, the National Weather Channel also decided not to issue a tsunami warning. No injuries from the earthquake or later aftershocks have been reported at this time. There have also been no reports of property damage.

The Pacific Northwest is especially vulnerable to earthquakes and resulting tsunamis, which have the potential to cause catastrophic damage. A fault line known as Cascadia Subduction Zone lies about 70 miles off the coast of the region, putting the entire area at risk.

As the Express explains, the “Ring of Fire” has been experiencing a lot of activity recently. The Ring of Fire refers to a region that runs down the west coast of the United States and Canada, around the east coast of Asia, down to New Zealand, and stretching across to the tip of South America which marks an extremely potent fault line. Ninety percent of the world’s earthquakes originate in the Ring of Fire. In the last few days, more than 60 tremors have been reported along the fault lines.

Some people are concerned that this is a sign of a catastrophic earthquake that seismologists believe the Ring of Fire is capable of releasing. In the past, the region has been responsible for some disastrous earthquakes. The strongest was an 8.2 on the Richter scale, which occurred in the Pacific Ocean close to Fiji and Tonga.

For some time now, experts have voiced concerns over the potential for a large scale earthquake in California. Seismologists have long theorized that the state would be the target of the Ring of Fire’s most violent earthquake. Thomas Jordan of the Southern California Earthquake Center warns that any time there is seismic activity, the threat of a large quake goes up.