4.0 earthquake hits outside Scotts Mills, east of Woodburn and Salem, no damage reported

Image depicts the 3.9 earthquake, with the blue lines indicating reports from people who felt the tremors - USGS image.

A 4.0 magnitude earthquake struck outside the town of Scotts Mills on Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. Geological Survey reports.

The earthquake shook at about 5:25 p.m. Pacific Time and hit at a depth of about 10.5 miles.

It happened in the "crust of the earth and not on the plate interface where we expect the "Big One," said Joan Gomberg, with the U.S. Geological Survey.

Scientists say that "Big One" will someday happen off the coast of Oregon along the Cascadia subduction zone, rattling the region with a 9.0 magnitude monster.

The Marion County Sheriff's Office said dispatchers have taken numerous calls, but there are no reports of damage.

Wednesday's earthquake was near the 1993, 5.6 magnitude Spring Break Quake, which caused significant damage to buildings, including the state Capitol about 35 miles away. The quake forced the closure of the building for a year and caused millions of dollars in damage throughout the area.

Portland State University geology professor Scott Burns confirmed Wednesday's quake happened on the same fault as the 1993 earthquake. He called it an "active fault."

"It reminds us (Oregon's) earthquake country," he said. "My aim in life is to get everybody prepared for the Big One."

Minutes after the earthquake, the KATU newsroom was flooded with calls and social media lit up with reports from people saying they felt it from many locations around the area, including Molalla, Oregon City, Beavercreek, West Linn, Sherwood, Rhododendron and even up into Washington in cities like Kelso and Washougal.

"It felt like we were on stilts," said William Moore, who lives 10 miles south of Molalla and five miles east of Scotts Mills, about the shaking. "It moved pretty good. ... It felt like there was a big boulder under us that was rolling."

He said he experienced the Spring Break quake. During that quake, "pictures were flying off the wall," he said.

We interviewed Burns live on the phone shortly after the earthquake occurred. Check it out below:



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