The worst earthquake to strike Washington state in 52 years hit today at 10:55AM PST. Measuring 6.8 on the on Richter Scale, the quake was felt in Seattle for about 30 seconds. An earthquake of this magnitude is capable of doing serious damage.

Three people were reported seriously injured, and 17,000 homes were without power. Extensive structural damage is being reported from the quake zone. A column on the state capital building in Olympia cracked. Governor Gary Locke declared a state of emergency at 3PM PST.

The quake was extremely deep and seismologists consider that aftershocks are unlikely. Centered 35 miles south of Seattle, the jolt was felt from Portland to Salt Lake City.

Although the quake did not generate a tsunami, the possibility of such a wave always exists, and the situation is under careful watch at the Alaska Tsunami Watch Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska.

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