One of the largest earthquakes in [the state of] Oregon’s history occurred at 5:35am on Wednesday, March 25, 1993. It’s known officially as the Scotts Mills Earthquake, but locally as the Spring Break Quake.
The 5.6 magnitude quake was centered about 3 miles east of Scotts Mills (a tiny community about 6 miles east of Mount Angel), and was felt as far north as Seattle and as far south as Roseburg. The dome of the Oregon State Capitol shifted and cracked and masonry work crumbled on several buildings around the region, but otherwise there was little major damage.
Portlanders, such as myself at the time, were jostled out of bed. At the time I lived in a tiny studio apartment in the basement of an old four story building in SE Portland. The shaking jolted me awake. I grabbed my bathrobe and ran outside; stood crouched with arms out for balance, waiting for more. But that was it – just barking dogs and car alarms. That was the last night I slept in the nude.
I remember that quake! Coincidentally, I was living in a tiny but high-ceilinged studio apartment on the second floor of a brick building in SE Portland and I was jostled awake. I did not, however, rush outside.
Eric Berg says
My parents still live in the same house near Scotts Mills we moved to when I was 10. They got quite a jolt. The grade school my grandmother and I both attended in Mt. Angel was irreparable. The church across the street was closed for a couple years to undergo repairs. I remember waking up to the shaking in my second floor bedroom in an old house in Southeast Portland. Hard to believe it’s been almost 20 years.
Ed Hurtley says
Born and raised in Portland – I have been out of town for every earthquake that was big enough to matter.
Only one that was even felt was I in town for. I was in stop-and-go traffic on the Marquam Bridge, being constantly swayed by the large trucks passing on the lower deck. Over the radio, I heard standard radio banter interrupted by “Woah. Did you all feel that? I think we just had an earthquake!” A few minutes later (still on the bridge,) the host announced “It’s official, we just had a (some pitifully small number I can no longer remember,) earthquake!” For all I could tell, it was just another truck passing by on the bottom deck…
Amy HW says
I clearly remember that quake! i was a week away from giving birth and staying with my inlaws in salem with my 3 year old son. Running down a flight of steps holding a 40 lb 3 year old was not on my list of things to do before giving birth.
We lived in Paradise Butte County in Northern California and it shook our house actually.
I was only 7 years old and the quake woke me and my parents up which I ran to the window to see what was going on. After all was said and done my parents turned on the news and the earthquake was centered up in Oregon!
It must’ve been this one! 😮
We also felt the San Francisco quake of 89 in Paradise California despite being over 200 miles away which caused swimming pools to slosh back and forth and the phone service was knocked out!
Dad worked at Payless Drug Store as a pharmacists in which Mom tried to call Dad at work and couldn’t get thru and the phones at work were all down as well!.
Just for clarification — that’s the biggest quake since white people began keeping records. We had a 9.0 quake in January of 1700, and have these giant ones roughly every 311 years. They’re are subduction zone earthquakes caused by the pressure of the San Juan de Fuca plate driving below the North America plate: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cascadia_subduction_zone
We also have fault lines that run through downtown Portland, which generate smaller quakes.
@Janetl – Yup, that’s why I specifically said “in [the state of] Oregon’s history” – that only goes back to 1859.
Yep. The Universe sends signs some say… My wife was quite shook up… and disclosed that she was having an affair with my JRK friend/employer.
Mike Brien says
it’s what happened that night in the nigh sky that I remember. I was at the coast in Seaside, Oregon when the quake occurred. It’s one hour and half drive from Portland. My mom told me about the quake the next day when I was telling her about what we had all witnessed in the night sky. My brother (physicist) estimated the size of the objects to be 2 to 3 times the size of a 747 airplane around 1000-2000 feet in the sky. He also estimated the location of the objects to be over Portland and covering an area around 100 square miles, from Portland to Seaside and the surrounding areas. We did NOT have technology back then so only the people who we were able to find and tell (and whom ever else was watching) saw it. Of course everyone’s first response was disbelief but as soon as they looked up, non-believers became instant believers. Even the most skeptic of people had nothing to say when they saw the objects and could not believe what they were staring at. We still are not sure what it/they were but they were V shaped and moving in every direction. Many of them. What ever it was had form but I remember not being able to see the body of what ever it was moving around in the sky. My dad doesn’t believe in such things and was very angry when he was bothered until he looked up and after a couple of minutes asked what are those things. An hour went by and we told around 20 to 30 people who all had the same reaction. Another hour went by and they were still in the sky. I think it was around 4 to 5 hours 6-7pm to 12:01am-1am. We are not sure when they started and when they stopped. My brother said he thought they were there for days. It wouldn’t be hard to prove because there was enough people who would remember this incident, including a 911 call to the police stating there was something the night sky.