Nevada Seismological Lab reports swarm of 100 earthquakes near Virginia City, Reno

Several magnitude-3.2 quakes, no damage reported

1/30/2014 - By: Mike Wolterbeek
storey earthquake swarm

The University's Nevada Seismological Laboratory reports an ongoing swarm of earthquakes near Virginia City, Nev. since Tuesday, Jan. 21. To date, over 100 events have been located. Four have been larger than magnitude 3.0, in the past two days. There have been no reports of damage. The larger events have been felt in Virginia City about 8 miles to the southwest and in Reno about 10 miles west of the swarm.

"The activity notably increased late last night and this morning," Ken Smith, seismic network manager and associate director of the seismological lab, said. "We're monitoring the swarm closely and updating local emergency management officials in case this sequence evolves to a larger damaging earthquake."

The depths of the earthquakes range from about five to eight miles below the surface. From 11 p.m. local time Wednesday, Jan. 29, through the early hours of this morning there have been two earthquakes of magnitude 3.2 and one of magnitude 3.1. A magnitude-3.2 quake occurred on Tuesday, Jan. 28 at 8:30 p.m.

Updated information for activity associated with this earthquake is available at http://www.seismo.unr.edu.

The Nevada Seismological Lab, the Nevada Division of Emergency Management/Homeland Security, Carson City Emergency Management, Storey County Emergency Management and Washoe County Emergency Management are working together to monitor the seismic events.

The Nevada-Eastern California region has a history of large damaging earthquakes and citizens should always consider earthquake preparedness. Information is available at the Great Nevada Shakeout website, www.readywashoe.com or at www.ready.gov/.

 "When we feel these small earthquakes it's nature's way of telling us that Nevada, and Washoe and Storey County, is earthquake country," Washoe County Emergency Manager Aaron Kenneston said. "Today would be an ideal day to walk through your house, or place of work, and do a hazard hunt.  Secure bookshelves, water heaters, and items that can easily fall and hurt you."

As a public safety reminder local and state agencies urge the public be prepared in the event an emergency causes you to be self-reliant for three days without utilities and electricity, water service, access to a supermarket or local services, or maybe even without response from police, fire or rescue.

The Nevada Division of Emergency Management/Homeland Security recommends preparing for such an event can start with four important steps:

1. Be informed about emergencies that could happen in your community, and identify sources of information in your community that will be helpful before, during and after an emergency
2. Make a plan for what to do in an emergency
3. Build an emergency supply kit
4. Get involved.

The Nevada Seismological Laboratory, a public service department at the University of Nevada, Reno, is a member of the USGS Advanced National Seismic System (http://www.usgs.gov/) and operates a network of about 150 real-time seismograph stations throughout the region providing earthquake information to Nevada citizens, the USGS, and local and state officials.


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