A Small Earthquake Struck Las Vegas This Morning

It’s time to build a new mega-casino in Vegas: The Tremor! A small (3.6 on the Richter Scale) earthquake was felt in Las Vegas early this morning.

The Las Vegas earthquake struck at 3:11 A.M. local time this morning, according to The Arizona Republic. The earthquake’s epicenter was about 24 miles from Las Vegas, but it was still felt in the city.

As of this post, there are no reports of damage or injuries from the Las Vegas earthquake, according to ABC News. Las Vegas Fire and Rescue spokesperson Tim Szymanski said that 911 dispatchers in the Las Vegas area did not receive any calls about the earthquake, although it was definitely felt.

Earthquakes are rare, though not unknown, in Las Vegas, according to KDNV (Las Vegas). The last major earthquake to hit Nevada struck in 1954 and reached 7.0 on the Richter Scale. Fortunately, it took place in sparsely-populated Churchill County, some 400 miles from Las Vegas.

Still, the ground beneath Las Vegas with covered with fault lines, and they are moving according to Dr. Craig DePolo of the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology.

“What we saw is the ground dropped two times about 15-thousand years ago, and ground dropped 7-10 feet each time. That’s telling us those are pretty good sized earthquakes probably on the order of magnitude 6.7. to 6.8.”

What happens underneath Las Vegas *stays* underneath Las Vegas.
What happens underneath Las Vegas *stays* underneath Las Vegas.

Even if a major earthquake were to strike in or around Las Vegas, the city, would likely survive mostly unscathed. Because Vegas is a relatively new city, most of its buildings – especially along the famed Las Vegas Strip – are built to modern earthquake codes and can withstand strong tremors. Ron Lynn of the Building and Fire Prevention for Clark County says that Vegas buildings are built for the duration.

“A building will ride it out. We learned that in Northridge in many cases.”

According to the United States Geological Survey, a 3.6 magnitude earthquake, like the one that struck Las Vegas this morning, would likely only be felt by people on the top floors of buildings, and most wouldn’t even recognize it as an earthquake at all.

A recent spate of earthquakes in the Western U.S. has many residents wondering if something is amiss geologically. Most recently, an “Earthquake Swarm” of some 600 small earthquakes rumbled beneath California’s Mammoth Lakes, according to this Inquisitr report.

Did you feel this morning’s Las Vegas earthquake? Let us know in the Comments.

[Images courtesy of: wikimedia commons, Las Vegas Review Journal]

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