In recent days, there have been swarms of Nevada earthquakes recorded underground. Hundreds of quakes are at work under the northwestern part of the state and have been since the middle of summer. This seismic activity is drawing some public interest.
Since November 5, six earthquakes of magnitude 4.0 or higher have hit the area — 40 of which have struck in the last 24 hours. In addition to that, swarms continue intensifying. Does this mean an even larger earthquake is about to unleash in Nevada? State seismologists say it doesn’t necessarily mean that. They do say that it’s good to be prepared in the event a quake happens.
In September, there were a recorded 500 or so mini-quakes that occurred in southeastern California in about two days — with the largest one at magnitude 3.8. It was strong enough to be felt, but wasn’t dangerous.
Quake groupings are defined as “swarms,” and the U.S. Geological Survey has seen several of them recently. Swarms produce thousands of “small tremors.”
As CNN says in its report, the Nevada swarms pose a “slightly elevated risk of having a larger quake while the swarm is active.” This is according seismologist Ian Madin from Oregon.
The swarms in Nevada have been active in and around Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge since July 12. After October 30, quakes have increased in strength. Three registered over 4.0 magnitude. The Nevada Seismological Laboratory says this current swarm appears similar to the two before it that created some powerful earthquakes
The laboratory explains that in Adel, Oregon, three earthquakes produced a magnitude 5.0 in 1968, which “caused moderate damage” after swarms lasted several months beforehand. Another one listed was in Reno, Nevada, in 2008 that also reached a magnitude of 5.0 after short swarms intensified.
So far, the NSL has recorded about 550 quakes that register a magnitude of 2.0 or above since the swarms began in July; 42 had intensities higher than 3.0, the report adds. People walking around haven’t detected the swarms.
Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge spokeswoman Alison Ryan tells the Los Angeles Times that people should prepare for a Nevada earthquake in the event that one happens.
“If you are not ready for an earthquake, now is an awfully good time to get ready for an earthquake.”
John Vidale, director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network at the University of Washington, explains that if no one brought this to the public’s attention and a big earthquake so happens to strike, they’d wonder why it wasn’t predicted.
“It doesn’t necessarily mean anything big is coming, but it does raise the risk there will be a bigger quake in the future. Ninety-nine percent of the time nothing too dramatic happens, but every now and then there is a good pop and everyone asks why we didn’t predict it.”
Whatever the chances are for a Nevada Earthquake to strike, officials there are telling the public to make plans and prepare for the worst case scenario. This especially applies to the residents of Lakeview, with a population of 2,300.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, a Las Vegas quake struck on October 5 with a magnitude 3.6 on the Richter Scale.
[Image via CNN]