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Earthquake gives Carnation-Duvall area a wake-up call

A 3.4 magnitude earthquake jolted residents in the Carnation-Duvall area around 5:21 a.m. Tuesday, May 25.

Carnation was the epicenter of the quake.

The Snoqualmie Valley has experienced significant earthquakes in the past, making Tuesday's small tremor a less than unusual occurrence, said Bill Steele, a University of Washington seismologist.

The small quake woke up a lot of people, Steele said.

"When it happens to you it's a notable event," Steele said. "It's very near where we had a magnitude 5.3 earthquake in 1996 — the Duvall earthquake.

Experiencing a 1.7-magnitude aftershock, Steele said the area may see more quakes Tuesday, but he doubts anyone will feel them.

The initial earthquake was about four miles deep, and is considered to be shallow. Such quakes exhaust more energy than deeper quakes that don't shake the ground nearly as violently, according to Steel.

"The magnitude ultimately depends on how far it goes," Steele said. "This one obviously stopped fairly quickly. It was only a few seconds of ground motion but it was a good jolt for people."

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