We will be collecting binkies for these victims and sending them via our chapters in Washington and Oregon.
For more information, email Susan Finch email@example.com
SEATTLE, Washington (CNN) — Residents in the U.S. Pacific Northwest were shaken Wednesday by a major earthquake that sent bricks in Seattle, Washington, crashing to the ground and knocked out power to thousands of electricity customers. There were no reports of injuries.
The earthquake, estimated at a preliminary magnitude of 7.0, hit at 10:55 a.m., said officials at the U.S. Geological Survey. The quake was centered 35 miles southwest of Seattle, said the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska, and was also felt in Portland, Oregon.
Harborview Medical Center in Seattle reports 3 people have serious injuries. A spokeswoman says 9 other people in the emergency room are in satisfactory condition.
The Federal Aviation Administration shut down Seattle-Tacoma Airport and the nearby Boeing Field-King County Airport Wednesday because of the quake.
“We are assessing damage now,” said Lynn Lampe. “The power is still on in the airport.” She said she could see pieces of ceiling damage and water leaks in the airport.
“Everyone was panicked,” said Paulette DeRooy, who was in an elevator descending from the 15th floor from a downtown Seattle building when the temblor struck. She and several others scrambled onto a fire escape.
Screams erupted at a nearby hotel, where Microsoft founder Bill Gates was addressing an education and technology conference. He was whisked away as his audience bolted for the exits. Some audience members were knocked down by others trying to get out.
Video of the speech showed the stage shaking violently and some overhead lights falling to the floor.
“I thought a car had hit my building,” said Sam Song, who owns a restaurant in Everett, 30 miles north of Seattle. “Then the ground started moving around.”
Utility officials estimated that 17,000 of its 350,000 customers were without power.
Oregon residents shaken from quake
In downtown Portland, Oregon, office buildings swayed for 20-30 seconds, and television stations were deluged by calls from viewers reporting rolling motion across the area. Michelle Noonan of suburban Lake Oswego said the quake was strong enough to move things around in her house.
“Everything was shaking,” Noonan said. “It knocked over a wood pile outside house. Books fell off the shelf.”
Earthquake magnitudes are measures of earthquake size calculated from ground motion recorded on seismographs. With each scale, an increase in one full number — from 6.5 to 7.5, for example — means the quake’s magnitude is 10 times as great.
A quake with a magnitude of 6 can cause severe damage, while one with a magnitude of 7 can cause widespread heavy damage.
A magnitude-5.0 quake that struck the Puget Sound area on January 28, 1995, was described as the strongest to hit the area in 30 years, since a 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck April 29, 1965, injuring at least 31 people. In 1949, a 7.1-magnitude quake near Olympia killed eight people.
The Northridge quake that struck the Los Angeles area in January 1994 caused an estimated $40 billion in damage and killed 72 people. It was a magnitude 6.7.