By JEFFREY BOUYSBY Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO — An earthquake in the Pacific Northwest could be a blessing or a curse, depending on how you look at it.
The epicenter is about 500 miles south of Seattle, and a magnitude 6.0 quake on Wednesday morning was centered about 75 miles northeast of the city, just north of the town of Puyallup.
No tsunami warnings have been issued for the area, which has a population of about 2,000 people, but the USGS has placed a tsunami watch for the greater Seattle area.
“We are currently anticipating a tsunami in that area,” said Greg Tittel, a seismologist with the US Geological Survey.
Tittel said the quake was centered at a depth of about 100 miles, so it’s not too surprising that the shaking would be intense.
The quake was also felt in the Seattle area, but it’s unclear how much of that was felt in Puyallsup.
The quake was measured at a magnitude of 6.1, which is about twice as strong as Seattle’s epicenter.
Tettel said that the earthquake was felt at a relatively low elevation, about 100 feet below the sea level.
It could have been felt even farther inland, but because the shaking was localized it probably wouldn’t have made much of a difference, he said.
The USGS is looking at ways to reduce the risk of earthquakes in the region.
“If you can see some buildings shaking, that’s going to make a big difference in how strong the shaking will be,” Tittl said.
Puyallspups, about 150 miles northeast, has about 400 residents.
The Pacific Northwest region is among the hardest-hit areas in the US in recent years because of the devastating 2011 quake and subsequent tsunami in Japan.
But the region has experienced no major earthquakes in years.