More than 100 small earthquakes shake Spanish Springs

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Updated: 10/14/2012 11:24 pm
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & -- Some rattling and rolling in the area has earthquake experts on alert. In the past week more than 100 small earthquakes have shaken the earth beneath Spanish Springs.

So far they've been too small to feel, but quake experts want you to know they're happening. There's no reason to panic - but it's a good reminder to make sure you're prepared.

"People can consider certain mitigation steps in case these earthquakes increase in intensity and there's a larger one," said Ken Smith, associate director of the Nevada Seismological Laboratory.

Smith says most injuries from earthquakes are caused by falling or flying objects - and you don't want to wait for a big quake to get ready.

"Secure your water heaters. Secure your valuables. Secure your book cases," Smith said. 

It's not strange for a dozen quakes this size to happen in a week, but there have been at least 115 since October 8, and about 60 of those have been since Thursday.

"These things are totally unpredictable," Smith said. "It could stop today, or it could keep going at a level of very small events that no one would feel."

Or they could get stronger. so far they're small - with the biggest two quakes shaking at magnitude one - but there's potential for one that really rocks Reno.

"We have faults around here that are capable of magnitude seven type events," Smith said. 

So this week the Great Nevada Shakeout will teach people to drop, cover and hold-on just in case there's a big quake. It's Nevada's largest earthquake drill and it's this Thursday, October 18 at 10:18 am.
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acullins - 10/18/2012 6:24 PM
0 Votes
Thanks for your comments! I checked with University of Nevada's geology department and this is what they said: "The volcanic activity is extremely old, 9-10 million years ago, maybe more, so that’s not related to what’s happening now. A magmatic intrusion could potentially cause harmonic tremors but that’s highly unlikely." ~Ashley

kdavis52 - 10/16/2012 12:47 PM
0 Votes
I am adding to my previous comment. When viewing the news video I saw the distinct outline of a nearby volcanic plug called Sugar Loaf Mountain. Since our area is already actively geothermal could the ground movement mean magma is trying to flow to the plug or a more fragile crack nearby? Spanish Springs is awful close to this area so is this something possibly something to be curious about? I am no geologist but watching a lot of Science Channels I do pick up a lot of good information. Maybe someone can pass this information to the right science people and possibly check it out like the USGS.

kdavis52 - 10/15/2012 9:54 AM
0 Votes
I could have sworn one of those quakes was evident one day. I heard the roof crack. I thought maybe it was a small one just enough for my house to feel it. I didn't feel anything though.

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