Small earthquake shakes SW Washington

AMBOY, Wash. - A small earthquake centered in Southwest Washington was felt as far away as Beaverton and Estacada, Ore. Wednesday evening.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The earthquake struck at 5:03 p.m. and was centered about one mile northeast of Amboy, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

Many people in Oregon and Washington called KATU News to report feeling the earthquake. Oregon viewers reported shaking from Beaverton to Estacada.

A map from the USGS shows people in Southwest Washington felt "light" shaking, while some people in the Portland area felt "weak" shaking.

The earthquake was reported to be a 3.7 magnitude.

Vancouver residents Lisa and Randy Packard said the earthquake was "very forceful" and lasted about eight seconds. Some things on their counter were shaken and turned around.

Joy Plumber of Eagle Creek, Ore. said she "felt her couch shake pretty good."

Krissy Barber in Gresham said it felt like everyone in her apartment building slammed their doors in unison.

"The couch I was on continued to shake for several seconds," she said.

According to USGS geophysicist Rafael Abreu, about 1,000 people reported feeling the quake on its website. He said because the quake happened only a few miles (4 miles or 7.6 kilometers) beneath the surface, it could be widely felt.

"So technically, 7 kilometers is a very, very shallow, very close to the surface (in geological terms) which is the reason why we're having that many people feeling the effects the quake," he said.

He said the amount of damage that is done by an earthquake depends on how much surface shaking occurs and the distance from the quake's epicenter.