5.7, 5.5 earthquakes in Nevada rattle Tahoe-Truckee region
December 28, 2016
Correction: 7:45 a.m.
An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported one of the earthquakes was 5.8 in size, based on previous information from USGS. The three larger quakes were indeed 5.7, 5.7 and 5.5 in size.
Aftershocks from three 5-plus magnitude earthquakes near Hawthorne, Nev., rattled the Western Nevada and Tahoe-Truckee area early Wednesday morning.
The first two earthquakes, both 5.7 in size, occurred within four minutes of one another — at 12:18 a.m. and 12:22 a.m. PST — north of Aurora Crater, southwest of Walker Lake. Later, a 5.5 temblor struck in about the same area at 1:13 a.m.
Those set off more than 30 additional earthquakes in the same area about halfway between Hawthorne and Bridgeport, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Douglas County emergency officials said that residents called 911 reporting the earthquake, but there have been no reports of damage as of 7 a.m.
The University of Nevada, Reno, Seismological Laboratory has reported four 3-magnitude earthquakes since 1:11 a.m., with most recent being at 3:49 a.m.
Hundreds of people throughout Northern Nevada and the greater Reno-Truckee-Tahoe region reported feeling the quakes to the the U.S. Geological Survey website, and social media posts were rampant by 12:30 a.m.
The area of the main quakes is located in the Walker Lane, a geologic trough where seismic activity is common. For location purposes, it’s about 70 miles southeast of Lake Tahoe.
The lane starts in Death Valley and continues northwest roughly along the California-Nevada border and ends somewhere between Pyramid Lake and Lassen Peak.
The Lane reportedly takes up 15-25 percent of the boundary motion between the Pacific and North American plates, and could replace the San Andreas Fault system in the distance future.