Eric Holcomb

Address: 1900 NE 3rd St STE 106 PMB 361, Bend, OR 97701-3889
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February 28, 2001 Earthquake

At 10:54 AM PST on February 28, 2001 a magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck the Puget Sound region of Washington State. This was a deep earthquake that spread out its energy over a wide area, causing major damage in only a few isolated places where there were landslides, or where old brick buildings partially collapsed. The state capitol building and the governor's mansion in Olympia, Washington were both damaged. The event was very similar to a previous earthquake in 1949, and was certainly not unexpected although of course the exact timing always catches you by surprise.

Eric was in a newer Boeing office building which swayed significantly, but was not seriously damaged. There was also little damage at home except for a few crooked pictures (see photo), a few small objects knocked over, and a couple of frightened cats!

EQuake5_50.jpg (54175 bytes)Comets Hyakutake (1996) and Hale-Bopp (1997) were re-oriented substantially by the earthquake! Actually, it's just the framed photos on Eric's wall that were disturbed! (Click on photo for a larger image.)



MoonJupSat7.JPG (17630 bytes)This picture shows the alignment of the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn at 9:13 PM on the evening of February 28. Venus was also visible in the west earlier in the evening. No one with any scientific credibility is blaming the earthquake on the planetary alignment. Earthquakes are caused by a buildup of stresses due to geological activity inside the earth, and even the tidal forces caused by the moon would not likely change the timing of an earthquake by more than a few hours or days (and even that is quite doubtful).

Click on the small image to see the full-size image with all of the following details:

  • Overexposed moon (4 seconds at f/2.8 with a digital camera).
  • Planet Saturn above the moon.
  • Planet Jupiter above and to the left of Saturn.
  • Pleiades ("seven sisters") star cluster to the right of Jupiter.
    Only six stars are visible to the unaided eye and in this photograph.
  • Hyades star cluster with the bright star Aldebaran to the left of Jupiter.
    These star clusters are part of the constellation of Taurus (the bull).

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