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Minimal damage in Silverdale from quake
"The largest earthquake in recent memory struck the region Wednesday, Feb. 28, but caused little damage in Silverdale.Lindsy Ingram, a spokesperson for Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue, said emergency personnel did not responded to any serious calls for assistance in the moments after the quake struck at about 10:55 a.m. Firefighters have responded to a few calls about strong smell of (natural) gas, Ingram said.One Central Kitsap home reportedly suffered a collapsed chimney, but no further details about home or building damage was not available early Wednesday afternoon. Preliminary reports had the quake measuring anywhere from 6.4 to 7 on the Richter scale. Its epicenter was located about 10 miles northeast of Olympia, but its effect reportedly was felt as far away as Salt Lake City. The quake lasted an estimated 30 seconds, an unusually long time.Harrison Memorial Hospital spokesperson Patti Hart said a total of 11 quake-related injuries were reported at the hospital's three locations. None were at Harrison-Silverdale, and all were characterized as minor injuries.We've mostly seen just minor lacerations and abbrasions, Hart said.As of about 1:30 p.m., all 17 beds in the emergency room of Harrison's main facility in East Bremerton were full, Hart said, although only six patients were suffering from injuries caused by the quake. Two of those patients were Harrison staff members - one person fainted and one was hit by a falling object, according to Hart. Five additional patients had been transported to Harrison's Port Orchard Urgent Care Facility complaining of injuries suffered during the quake.We did have three people from our community who weren't injured or sick, Hart said. They just felt safer coming to the hospital ... We're seeing an awful lot of anxiety today.Harrison suffered minor structural damage at both its Bremerton and Silverdale facilities. Naval Station Bremerton and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center at Keyport also closed, but Subase Bangor remained open with only minor damage. The day shift at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard was released early, but all other shifts were expected to be at work.CKFR's Ingram said she was giving a fire safety presentation at PineCrest Elementary School when the quake hit. The school was evacuated, she said, but there was no noticeable damage as a result of trembler. The earthquake did not harm students or staff in the Cental Kitsap School District, according to Jeanie Schulze, community relations specialist for the district. Students and schools typically practice an earthquake preparedness drill sometime during the year to prepare for this, Schulze said.Maintenance crews toured the schools Wednesday afternoon to assess structural damages. Schulze said some schools reported minor damages, including cracked floors and damaged ceiling tiles. CKFR reported responding to a call for help for minor damage at Central Kitsap High School.Schools let out at normal times Wednesday, but all after-school activities and Community School classes were cancelled. The Washington State Ferries reported that the quake caused long delays, as boats sat in Sinclair Inlet and Elliott Bay while crews made sure the Bremerton Transportation Center and Colman Dock were sound. WSF said the system was restored to full, normal service by 2 p.m. In Bremerton, however, things were far from normal. The Warren Avenue Bridge was closed at about 1 p.m. to all traffic except emergency vehicles, and the Manette Bridge was closed to all traffic shortly after. City officials expected the bridge closures to last most of Wednesday. Due in part to the bridge closures, State Route 303 was at one point backed up all the way to Silverale. Traffic on State Route 3 also was jammed. Buildings, schools and offices all over Bremerton were evacuated en masse. Bremerton School District spokesperson Joan Dingfield said the only Bremerton school closed because of possible structural damage is Mountain View Middle School - the district's newest.In Port Orchard, the Kitsap County Courthouse closed shortly after the earthquake and remained closed for the rest of the day.For information about how to prepare for and respond to earthquakes, visit www.kitsapdem.org/. "