The weekend earthquake in California got me thinking about what we would do if there were an earthquake in Yakima. We're no strangers to earthquakes, but we rarely get anyhing we can actually feel. If you look at the geology underneath us, though, it shouldn't be a big surprise that Washington state has its fair share of earthquakes.

More than 1,000 earthquakes occur in the state annually. Washington has a record of at least 20 damaging earthquakes during the past 125 years. Large earthquakes in 1946, 1949, and 1965 killed 15 people and caused more than $200 million (1984 dollars) in property damage.

I took geology in college but, living in the Pacific Northwest, I think geology should be a required class in high school. It teaches you so much about our area -- the layers of colors in our canyons and hills, why we have as many mountains as we do and how close the tectonic plates are to our Washington coastline. You don't need a magnifying glass to see there's a fault line that right offshore from us. Granted, it's not as severe as the one in California, but it does give us a few rumbles now and again.

Most of them go unnoticed and we've only felt a count-on-one-hand amount in Yakima during my existence, but anything's possible.

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