OLYMPIA - Ninth-grader Michael Parks was hanging out at Westfield Shoppingtown Capitol Mall on Wednesday when he saw something he'd never seen before.
"My friend said he felt a little dizzy, " Parks said. "I thought, 'What a coincidence, me too.' Then the grass started to shake.
"Then I saw cars jumping a foot off the ground."
They didn't all hop off the pavement at the same time but jumped in a wave pattern, Parks said.
OLYMPIA - Two passenger trains were stopped between Olympia and Tacoma after the earthquake hit, and all Amtrak routes through Southwest Washington were canceled for the day.
Wally Fisher, volunteer at the East Olympia Amtrak station, said it's policy for trains to stop during an earthquake and wait for an all-clear before continuing.
Amtrak planned to lease buses to move passengers past the areas where tracks are closed, Fisher said, but buses were in short supply.
"The No. 11 Coast Starlight (southbound) was 22 miles north of the Olympia station when the quake hit, " Fisher said.
There was extensive track damage near Lake St. Clair and the Nisqually River, Fisher said.
Fisher was at the Olympia depot when the quake hit.
"I felt like my legs were giving way on me, " he said. There was no damage at the depot, he said, but he had a chimney to replace when he got home.
SEATAC - The Rev. Eddie Karnes, president of Yelm-based World Harvesters, was waiting to board a TWA flight at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport when the terminal began to shake.
"The building took a real jerk, and most people fell to the ground, " Karnes said.
His flight to Syracuse, N.Y., was canceled. Sea-Tac closed after the quake.
"We were almost ready to take off, " Karnes said. He plans to catch a flight on Friday.
OLYMPIA - Laura Caughlin got an unexpected jolt while shopping at Panowicz Jewelers.
"Rob and Linda Panowicz were so awesome, " Caughlin said. "They got us all under doorways and they were so helpful. ... I was thankful that they were there; it was absolutely terrifying."
From readers via e-mail
I was working in my office on the second floor of my home in west Olympia. The house shuddered, then I felt a rolling sensation.
One of my cats jumped up and dashed down the stairs. At first I thought it was a big truck passing by, or perhaps the guns at Fort Lewis.
Pictures on the walls vibrated, and books tumbled from the shelves. ? This is an old house, built in 1936, so the shaking was especially vigorous on the upper floor.
This quake was long - I grew up in California, and this was as strong as any I ever felt in the Bay Area. ?
Michael Huntsberger, Olympia
I had just gotten home from South Puget Sound Community and was grabbing a bite to eat.
It started to rumble and the first thing that caught my mind was a low-flying plane or something. Then things started shaking. ? I wasn't sure if it would stop. After I called my dad and mom at work - It terrified me being home alone and thinking I would be stuck out here (we live off Delphi Road, a rural area) with my whole family in town if it was just a pre-earthquake.
David Zielinksi, 17, of Olympia
My family just moved here from Texas two months ago, so this was my first earthquake. My daughter and I were upstairs in our townhome, talking to my grandmother in Texas, and everything started shaking. ? I hung up and ran downstairs with my daughter and got ready to go outside.
It was pretty unnerving. ? My other daughter called from school, pretty scared and crying. All in all, we're all OK.
I was on the third floor of the Labor and Industries Building on Linderson Way when the quake hit. I was with a friend in a room used for large bulk mailing, so all space was piled high with manuals and boxes of supplies.
I threw a mail bin out of the way to get under the counter.
Getting out, the stairway was full of plaster pieces and dust; I'm still coughing. After 20 minutes of searching, I found my friend in the parking lot and we hugged and cried. We've got a special bond for life now.