Mexico’s strongest earthquake in a century recorded at Mt. Rainier

File photo of Mount Rainier from Tolmie Peak

Seismic stations on Mount Rainier recorded Mexico’s magnitude 8.1 earthquake, the strongest to hit the country in nearly a century.

The deadly earthquake’s epicenter was in the Pacific Ocean nearly 74 miles off the coast of Mexico. The Chiapas and Oaxaca states – home to 9 million people – were closest to the epicenter, and they are left with casualties and rubble of collapsed buildings in its wake.

On the other side of the continent, some of the 11 seismograph stations on Mount Rainier picked up distant recordings of the powerful earthquake.

The recording picked up on Mount Rainier stations. Image: PNSN

“The whole mountain was ringing from this earthquake,” said Pacific Northwest Seismic Network director of communication and outreach Bill Steele,

Distant recordings are not unusual.

Sensitive international seismographs, such as the ones on Mount Rainier, pick up events with magnitudes of about 4.5 or greater. The tools magnify ground motion – the movement of the earth’s surface from earthquakes or explosions – as it travels through the earth and along its surface.

As the instruments have the ability to measure local seismic events, it can also take what’s called teleseismic recordings. That’s when an earthquake is measured more than 1,000 kilometers from the actual event

These distant recordings contribute to global research in disasters such as the one in Mexico. Local seismologists observe the events and then collaborate on real-time data.

Image of M8.1 quake’s epicenter. Image: USGS

“A scientist in Japan and Mexico can use that data in real time for research to study that earthquake … The data is shared freely in the USGS,” Steele said. “First arrivals from around the world create a picture of how the fault broke and slipped by going backward to image where the energy was and how it was processed.”

As it does with every big earthquake, the United States Geological Survey is providing preliminary impact information and interactive maps on this resource page about the devastating Mexico quake so that the public can better understand the events leading up to the event.

Unseen photos of Mt. St. Helens eruption discovered in forgotten camera at Goodwill

Published on in June 2017; more than 10,000 engagements on social

A Portland woman, who finds old cameras and develops forgotten film, discovered unseen photos of the Mount St. Helen explosion. Image: Courtesy Kati Dimoff

A Portland woman who finds old cameras and develops forgotten film has discovered unseen photos of the Mount St. Helens eruption.

“I run into the big Goodwill in [Southeast Portland] and check all their film cameras for exposed, but undeveloped rolls of film,” said Kati Dimoff, who is a photographer herself. “[In May], I bought an Argus C2, which would have been produced around 1938, and it had a damaged roll of Kodachrome slide film in it.”

Dimoff dropped it off at a Portland shop that develops vintage film. When she picked it up, a message was left on her package of photographs.

“Is this from the Mount St. Helen eruption?” it read.

Thirty-seven years ago, 57 people lost their lives amid raining ash throughout Washington state in the wake of the Mount St. Helens explosion.

Journalists and residents alike captured moments of the volcano’s notorious eruption in 1980; thousands of people to this day still watch their surreal video and chilling photos the lateral blast that took out the north side of the mountain.

But Dimoff’s images show a new perspective of the plume cloud that haunted the northwest.

Continue reading Unseen photos of Mt. St. Helens eruption discovered in forgotten camera at Goodwill

Police: Workers held against their will in Bellevue brothels

NOTE: First published on in Jan. 2016. A KIRO 7 News crew streamed this event live on our website. I wrote this copy as information was streamed lived. 

Bellevue brothels, created by a website, held workers against their will and then trafficked them across the west coast, according to local law enforcement.


  • 12 brothels in Bellevue
  • 12 victims rescued, according to Bellevue police
  • Women were victimized in 15 U.S. states
  • At least one recent murder is related to the trafficking case
  • National prostitution website,, seized in investigation

How did this happen?

King County Sheriff John Urquhart, the Bellevue police chief, and an FBI special agent held a news conference on Wednesday and announced they investigated and a website called “The League.”

According to investigators, who call the case “on steroids,” facilitated prostitution and “The League” started the brothels in Bellevue.

Twelve brothels, most that operated out of high-end Bellevue apartments, have been shut down. See where the brothels in Bellevue were located in the map below; click on a “point” for the apartment name.

Police say Donald Mueller and Michael Durnal ran the ring and sold women all over the county.

Continue reading Police: Workers held against their will in Bellevue brothels

Oldest known orca spotted in ‘high spirits’ off San Juan Island

NOTE: First reported on on Aug. 3, 2016 (All photo credits in this story go to Heather MacIntyre.) Sadly, Researchers considered J2 Granny dead as of Jan. 2017

Estimated to be around 105 years old, J2 Granny is thought to be the oldest known living orca.

The Orca Network posted photos of Granny to its Whale Sighting Report on July 27. She was spotted near San Juan Island’s False Bay.

“We watched the J11s (J27, J31, and J39) traveling with J2 and adopted son, L87. They sure seemed to be in high spirits … And then there was that humpback that popped up surprisingly in the distance breaching over and over and over,” photographer Heather MacIntyre wrote.

The Orca Network tells KIRO 7 News that Granny is said to be around 105 years old, but there is a 12-year margin around her age meaning she could be as young as 90.

Continue reading Oldest known orca spotted in ‘high spirits’ off San Juan Island