Reno, NV – The recent swarm of dozens of small earthquakes in the vicinity of Reno is serving as a stark reminder that Nevada is indeed “earthquake country.” However, experts are urging residents not to jump to conclusions and assume that a major earthquake is inevitably on the horizon.
William Savran, the network manager at the Nevada Seismological Laboratory, based at the University of Nevada, Reno, emphasized, “The swarm is definitely a reminder that we live in earthquake country, but it doesn’t mean for certain that a bigger earthquake is going to happen, although it certainly could.”
The ongoing swarm of earthquakes, centered in the Spanish Springs area northeast of Reno, first began in early October, according to Savran.
The swarm has thus far included a magnitude 3.6 earthquake on a recent Monday, a magnitude 3.5 on Thursday, and a magnitude 3.1 on Friday. Savran described a magnitude 3.5 quake as a significant jolt with not much lingering shaking.
Savran stated, “As far as everything I’ve seen, I don’t think there’s a very specific out-of-the-ordinary cause. There are faults all over the state, and earthquakes happen all over the state.”
This recent seismic swarm is one of the most significant to occur near Reno in some time. Savran noted that the last notable earthquake swarm in the Reno area was the Mogul-Somersett swarm in 2008, which affected the suburbs of Mogul and Somersett. While seismic activity is common in the region, there is a notable increase in activity now.
In February 2008, a magnitude 6 earthquake occurred near Wells in northeast Nevada, although it was not part of the Mogul swarm. This quake caused damage to hundreds of homes and approximately 20 to 25 buildings in the town’s historic district. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries reported.
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