Within three minutes, a 3.5 quake shook the region, followed by another 10 aftershocks.
The natural disaster was relatively shallow, but according to the USGS map, it was felt all the way to the Canadian border.
No significant damages or injuries were reported to city infrastructure, according to Tacoma and Pierce County officials.
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The state Department of Transportation said the agency would be inspecting bridges, but had no reports of damage. The most recent large one to shake the Seattle area occurred in 2001, when a 6.8 magnitude quake happened just north of Olympia, Washington. Such quakes are common in the Cascade Mountain range.
Joan Gomberg, a USGS seismologist and affiliate faculty member at the University of Washington, said "the likelihood of a bigger one is small".
She said scientists were working Friday morning to better quantify those chances.