The Richter Scale is the way scientists and geologists measure earthquakes, it ranges from 0 to 9.

US Geological Survey reports the tremors early Wednesday morning.

A series of rumbles, about 274 miles off the coast of Newport, OR, were traced by geologists between 2:54 and about 7 AM.  The largest of them registered 5.6 on the Richter scale, which is just below what's considered a dangerous stage of 6 and up.

Each year dozens of such mid-range quakes happen all over the earth, but this one perhaps gets extra attention because of the Cascadia Subfault.  It's a huge rift that runs from CA past OR and WA and varies between  80 and 100 miles off the coast. The Cascadia Subfault makes the San Andreas Fault look like a paper cut.

 This quake and others were further out than that, there have been some other similar ones over the last 3 years off the Oregon coast.

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No reports of any large waves of Tsunami activity from officials. Geologists have been closely watching the Pacific Coast because of the Cascadia Subfault.  It's estimated its last major activity was a couple of hundred years ago, but when it slipped, it sent a large tidal wave to the shore. Evidence of deposits of soil can be found along the Oregon and WA coast by experts who know where to dig, showing layers of soil brought in and stacked by that event.


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