Quake shakes Tahoe-Truckee at state line | SierraSun.com
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Quake shakes Tahoe-Truckee at state line

Irwin M. Goldberg

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake struck the North Shore of Lake Tahoe early Friday morning, sending some items on shelves crashing to the floor but doing little damage otherwise, according to public safety officials.

Early reports from the U.S. Geological Survey had the quake, a 5.3 on the Richter Scale, happening at 1:53 a.m. and centered about five miles north-northeast of Kings Beach. However, University of Nevada, Reno, seismology lab officials said the quake was a 4.9 centered four miles north of Incline Village.

“We only have reports of minor damage,” said Diane Depolo, network seismologist at the lab.

Felt all over

Reports of the effects came in from Tuolumne, Calaveras and towns as far out as Dayton, Nev., Depolo said.

As of 4:30 a.m. the two largest aftershocks were a 2.8 at 2:06 a.m. and a 3.0 at 2:11 a.m.

This quake is not believed to be connected with another quake as there have been no significant quakes in California or Nevada recently, Depolo said.

“From studies we’ve done there is about a 5 percent chance of a larger quake happening in the next three days,” she said.

According to Depolo, the quake was not on any fault mapped in the area.

It was, however, centered north of the Incline Village fault which runs through Incline Village.

Reports to Sheriff

The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office Truckee substation received about 20 calls from residents who reported pictures on shelves being damaged and lots of houses rattling.

“We had lots of calls about pictures falling off walls and one woman called and said that water was knocked out of her fish tank,” said Robin Jewell, NCSO dispatcher. “There were no reports of injuries or extended damage.”

The same was true for the Placer County Sheriff’s Office substation in Tahoe City.

“We had no reports of any major damage, injury, fire, power outages or water leaks,” Sgt. Bill Langton said.

Deputies on patrol did see items knocked off store shelves, according to a press release from the department.

Neither the Incline Village General Improvement District nor the North Tahoe Public Utility District reported any problems as a result of the earthquake.

The last two significant quakes in the area, according to Depolo, were in 1948 when a magnitude 6.0 struck in Verdi and another 6.0 in 1966 centered in Truckee.

“We have several a month in the area that are smaller,” she said, adding that they usually aren’t felt.

Fire Marshal Bill Atchley of the North Tahoe Fire Protection District said the district received no earthquake-related calls during the night.

“It was the biggest one I’ve felt here,” he said, adding that he has lived at Tahoe for 16 years.

Glenshire resident Joyce Engler said the earthquake sounded like a car crash outside of her home.

“The quake woke me up,” she said. “The bed was shaking. One of our wine glasses above our cabinets was knocked down onto the counter. It shattered and left glass everywhere. It was the biggest earthquake I ever felt.”

Other Truckee residents agreed and said it was the loud “boom” of the moving earth that woke most people from their sleep.

Neither Southwest Gas Corp. or Sierra Pacific Power Co. reported any service disturbances or problems.

Sherry Mays contributed to this story.

Sierra Sun E-mail: sun@tahoe.com

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