From the ARRL... NEWINGTON, CT, Feb 28, 2001--An earthquake estimated at magnitude 6.8 hit today at 10:55 AM Pacific Time about 25 miles southeast of Seattle, Washington. ARRL Western Washington Section Manager Harry Lewis, W7JWJ--who lives in King County--says damage in his vicinity has been mostly broken windows and falling bricks. "At the moment the situation is well under control--barring intervention from Mother Nature," he said. No deaths and few serious injuries have been reported. The quake was felt not only in the Seattle area but as far away as Oregon, Idaho, and Utah. In Olympia, Washington, news reports say the quake caused a crack in the capitol building dome. Inspection teams already have been deployed to check highways, bridges and buildings for damage. A state of emergency has been declared in King County, Washington--the greater Seattle area. Lewis reports that some communities, including Federal Way and Sequim, are without power. In addition, telephone lines are jammed. As a result, customers were being asked to not use their telephones. News reports indicate that King County Airport and Sea-Tac International Airport have been shut down. District Emergency Coordinator Ed Bruette, N7NVP, was reported enroute to the Kitsap County Emergency Operations Center. "State RACES officer Jim Sutton, WA7PHD, is NCS on the Washington State Emergency Net operating from the State EOC at Camp Murray," he said. "The 'phone Section Nets are activated, and here in King County, ARES volunteers are active on our emergency repeater net with King County EC Rich Hodges, KB7TBF, and Lt. Russ Reed, N7NOV, of the US Coast Guard acting as NCS." Lewis said that several other county ARES nets were active as well. "I am deeply impressed by the immediate response that occurred with hams coming out of the woodwork, just like it might have been planned," Lewis said. He noted that Red Cross, with Amateur Radio operators assisting, was already doing damage assessment, and that a temporary 2-meter net was set up that purpose. Lewis said it was a good thing that the quake did not come last night, when thousands were celebrating in Pioneer Square, where older buildings now are reported to have suffered extensive damage. He said his ham shack is strewn with fallen certificates, plaques, and books, but his residence suffered no apparent damage. "The station automatically switched to 12 volt dc power even though ac power at this location did not fail," he said. Lewis said a ham acquaintance reported that he was just climbing down his tower when the quake hit. He said his own tower "was swaying like a long rubber duck on a handheld" during the quake. Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network reports it is standing by on its net frequency of 14.265 MHz. The Disaster Emergency Response Association, DERA, Disaster Support Center has been activated in Denver, Colorado, reports Executive Director Jay Wilson, N3DAK, is operating station AFA5JW on USAF MARS Transcontinental Net. Eighteen stations currently are on the net. DERA-DSC is listening for five minutes every quarter hour on the 20-meter SATERN Net.