30+ small earthquakes near Mount Hood since Monday, USGS says

MOUNT HOOD, Ore. -- A series of small earthquakes have been recorded near Mount Hood this week.The U.S. Geological Survey said that the earthquake swarm started Monday and that as of 11 a.m. Tuesday, more than 30 had occurred.The quakes are probably too small to be felt, with a maximum magnitude of 2.1, the USGS said.The earthquakes were about 2 to 3 miles deep and happened about 5 miles south of the Mount Hood summit and about a mile east-northeast of Government Camp, according to the USGS.

Earthquake survey finds thousands of buildings of concern

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington state's first statewide inventory of buildings prone to crumble or collapse in an earthquake has found there are thousands of unreinforced masonry buildings or URM that could be dangerous.The Department of Commerce reports that the survey combined various databases of historic structures as well as commercial, government and apartment buildings completed before 1958.

State performs tests to see how schools may respond to earthquakes

FIFE, Wash. -- Scientists from the state Department of Natural Resources are performing tests across Washington to see how schools would handle an earthquake.On Thursday, DNR officials lined the fields outside of Fife High School with scientific readers to measure seismic waves.“When we have our next big earthquake, not if, but when, we should all know if the building that we’re in, the house we’re in, the school we’re in is built and is capable of withstanding that earthquake,” said Corina Forson, chief hazards geologists for the Department of Natural Resources.She and a team of geologists are going to schools across the state of Washington that were built before 2003, when the current building codes were instated.Her team is testing how hard or soft the ground is.The way they do this is by placing readers along the ground, and then use a sledge hammer to create seismic waves.Geologist say earthquakes will affect structures on softer ground much more than on harder ground.Inside the schools, engineers are testing to see the effect an earthquake would have on the building.“A lot of the reason a lot of us going into engineering is to protect the public,” said Dave Swanson, a structural engineer with Reid Middleton.