Historic Virginia City faces earthquake danger

Set Text Size SmallSet Text Size MediumSet Text Size LargeSet Text Size X-Large
Updated: 1/30/2014 6:26 pm
VIRGINIA CITY, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- If you live in south Reno or Virginia City, you may have felt the recent swarm of earthquakes. More than 100 small quakes have been recorded near the area.

Many people from Lockwood to Damonte Ranch and the Virginia Highlands are feeling them. Experts are concerned about the historic buildings in Virginia City.
The epicenter is located between Virginia City and Lockwood. Since Tuesday, four of the more than 100 quakes had a magnitude greater than 3.0.

No damage has been reported, but Storey County Emergency Management Director Joe Curtis said his department is "all over this."

That's because earthquakes are unpredictable and no one knows if, or when, a big one will hit. In Virginia City, in addition to the potential danger posed, there is another concern.

"We have completed a survey of all of our historic structures," Curtis said. "Most of them for the most part are un-reinforced masonry structures."

Curtis said there is a potential of losing an irreplaceable piece of history. "Should we have a major, upwards of high six into the seven area earthquake, we would probably lose many of these historical structures."

These historic buildings in virginia city were built back in the 1800's, prior to building codes and regulations, but they have withstood major earthquakes before. Two long-time Nevada residents remember some of the recent big ones very well.

"If it's a big earthquake, it can do damage anywhere, but because they're brick buildings like down in Wells, Nevada that one time," Virginia City resident Jerry Berry. "A lot of the old buildings are what fell."

The 2008 earthquake devastated the Historic District in that Eastern Nevada town.  But Larry Clewell notes Virginia City's buildings are still standing more than a century later having weathered previous significant quakes, including one with a magnitude more than 6.0 in the late 1860's.

"Real thick walls, a lot of brick, those old timers knew what they were doing," Clewell said. "No building codes back then and they're still standing, and sometimes I wonder if that isn't better than the new ones sometimes."

Historic buildings aside, Curtis says this is the time to remember to prepare for the worst, just in case.
3 Comment(s)
Comments: Show | Hide

Here are the most recent story comments.View All

ella281 - 2/3/2014 2:40 PM
0 Votes
Start working at home with Google! Just work for few hours and have more time with friends and family.I earn up to $500 per week. It’s by-far the best job Ive had. Online jobs give new hope during recession. You could check here Pow6.com

apache - 1/31/2014 11:59 PM
0 Votes
better than snow blizzards in the NE and hurricanes in S.F

Kramer - 1/31/2014 3:19 PM
0 Votes
having seen damage from CA quakes up close, i am dumbstruck by the "duh" writing and quotes herein. 2 many 2 list...get a HS diploma (outta state)

Featured Segments/Shows

All content © Copyright 2015 Intermountain West Communications, LLC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
You may also view our Sitemap

Inergize Digital This site is hosted and managed by Inergize Digital.
Mobile advertising for this site is available on Local Ad Buy.