Earthquake shakes residents awake

Magnitude 4.6 quake occurred last Friday
By Brandon Gustafson | Jul 17, 2019

Nothing like a 3 a.m. earthquake to get your heart rate going.

That’s exactly what happened last Friday, July 12, when a magnitude 4.6 earthquake shook things up in the area. The quake originated in Snohomish County in the Three Lakes/Monroe/Lake Tye area at 2:51 a.m.

Many in Mukilteo took to social media in the minutes after the quake, responding to various news outlets that asked who felt the quake and where.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported the quake was felt as far north as Vancouver, British Columbia, south to Olympia, and east to Wenatchee.

The quake and its aftershocks were a needful reminder of the importance of preparation. Here’s another reminder: The South Whidbey Island Fault runs from just east of Victoria, British Columbia, eastward through Whidbey Island near Clinton, just south of Mukilteo and north of Edmonds, and out to Woodinville and the Cascade Mountains. It is capable of generating up to a 7.4 earthquake.

The last major earthquake in the area was nearly two decades ago in 2001, when the magnitude 6.8 Nisqually quake caused between $1 and $4 billion in damage, and was declared a natural disaster area by President George W. Bush.

The Beacon made a post late Friday morning asking who felt the earthquake the night before. As you’d expect, quite a few were shaken awake by the earthquake.

“I was lying outside on our deck (much cooler than in the house),” Pam Taylor commented. “Not the first earthquake I’ve experienced, but like everyone else I was wide awake for awhile afterwards waiting for the next one.”

Mary Ann Macomber, who has contributed numerous photos to The Beacon over the last few years, also felt the shaking.

“Yes, first the shaking followed by the rattling of dishes/décor,” she said. “My husband slept through it.”

Said Betsey Summers West, “We did! And several of the aftershocks.”

“Yep! First time I have been woken up by a quake!” Nick Ness said.

“We both wake up my husband and I,” Genevieve Tanguay commented. “Crazzzzzy!”

“I sure did! My bed was really shaking. The two closet doors were rattling,” Bobbie Bassett said. “Didn't go back to sleep, just in case.”

“We did, and an aftershock,” Kristin Zoller Kohorst said. “Only one thing fell off a shelf.”

A few commenters said they slept through it and didn’t feel a thing. One of them was Mishelle Moore. Moore and her family are evidently heavier sleepers.

“Nope ... we slept through it (laughing emoji),” she posted.


Be prepared

The quake has, naturally, got people thinking about preparedness in case of a larger, more destructive quake.

“Early last Friday morning, Earth gave us a reminder that earthquakes can happen here,” said Mukilteo Fire Chief Chris Alexander.  “Take this opportunity to get your family ready.”

In Mukilteo, the City has free copies of “Individually Prepared, Together Resilient” emergency preparedness booklets at both Mukilteo fire stations, Mukilteo City Hall, and Rosehill Community Center.

The City recommends picking one up and doing the following steps: making a plan, building a kit, staying informed, and getting involved.

For more information on how you can get prepared (including learning the hazards in the area, signing up for alerts, trainings and volunteer opportunities), visit


Edmonds Beacon Editor Brian Soergel contributed to this report.



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