As It Was - 1993
9:08 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Largest Earthquake Since 1873 Strikes Klamath Falls

On Sept. 21, 1993, the largest earthquake in Oregon since 1873 struck Klamath Falls in the form of two pre-dawn, 6-magnitude shocks within an hour and 17 minutes of each other.  They were felt as far north as Eugene and as far south as Chico, Calif.  A rock-fall boulder crushed a car on Hwy 97, killing the driver, and another person died of a heart attack. The violent shaking caused some $10 million in damages to 1,000 homes and other buildings, among them the county courthouse.

   A Western Oregon University study after the quake cited a state report that warned many Klamath County schools and public safety buildings could collapse in another large earthquake.  The study acknowledged that Klamath Falls had made “some progress … by enacting a dangerous building ordinance and retrofitting some buildings.”  A regional geologist for Southwest Oregon was quoted as saying he was watching football in a Roseburg hotel room when the quake hit.  He said, “I remember the Denver Broncos were playing, because John Elway got tackled, then I felt the hotel shake. I thought, ‘That was a pretty good tackle!’

   Source: Christensen, Arne. "A Day to Remember." Chronicling the Nisqually Earthquake and Other Northwest Quakes. Ed. Arne Christensen. 28 Feb. 2001. Web. 17 Oct. 2013. "Historic Earthquakes: Klamath Falls, Oregon." Earthquake Hazards Program. U.S. Geological Survey, 1 Nov. 2012. Web. 17 Oct. 2013.  

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