The Nevada Seismological Laboratory reports a local magnitude 4.4 earthquake (moment magnitude Mw 4.3) located in a residential area of south Reno Nevada. Location parameters: 39.4288 north latitude, -119.7886 west longitude, depth of 6 miles (9.6 km), at 10:46 p.m. PST, Dec. 22, 2015. There have been reports of minor damage. The initial event of the sequence was a magnitude 1.2 event at 10:18 p.m., followed by magnitude 3.2 (10:22 p.m.), 3.0 (10:36 p.m.) and 3.1 (10:45 p.m.) events prior to the magnitude 4.4. Another magnitude 3.1 earthquake occurred at 11:05 p.m. These are the largest events of the sequence at this time.
As of 6:43 a.m. PST Dec. 23, 2015, the Nevada Seismological Laboratory recorded a total of 32 events associated with this sequence of earthquakes.
The largest earthquakes and the magnitude 3 events were strongly felt in the south Reno area. There is a slight increase in the probability of a larger event (larger than the magnitude 4.4) during an ongoing sequence of earthquakes such as this one. The Nevada Seismological Laboratory continues to closely monitor the activity in south Reno.
"I like to remind everyone that it is always appropriate to make a plan for what to do during a disaster, in this case: secure your home before; drop, cover, hold on during; and assess damage after," Aaron Kenneston, with Washoe County Emergency Management and Homeland Security Program, said. "Assemble a kit with at least 72 hours of water, food, first aid supplies, flashlight and battery-powered radio in case of utility disruption, and stay informed about our earthquake risks."
Updated information for activity associated with this earthquake is available at http://www.seismo.unr.edu/Earthquake.
Nevada and eastern California regions have a history of large, damaging earthquakes, and citizens should always consider earthquake preparedness. Nevadans are encouraged to practice aspects of emergency plans and to "secure your space," which includes retrofitting buildings to reduce damage and securing things within buildings to prevent injury. For more information on how to prepare for an earthquake, go to www.shakeout.org/nevada or www.readywashoe.com.
The Nevada Seismological Laboratory, a public service department at the University of Nevada, Reno, is a member of the USGS Advanced National Seismic System 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.