A large earthquake woke up some residents of California and Nevada with a jolt Friday morning.
TRAFFIC ADVISORY: Earthquake damage at US-95 and Esmeralda County MM 89 has closed the highway between SR-360 and US-6 (Coaldale Junction). Use an alternate route and expect delays while @nevadadot makes repairs. pic.twitter.com/QJ0v6FW0Ae
— NHP Northern Command (@NHPNorthernComm) May 15, 2020
The epicenter of the magnitude 6.5 earthquake is located about 35 miles west of Tonopah in Western Nevada, near the Monte Cristo Range. The quake caused damaged to US-95 in the area which closed the road, according to the Nevada Highway Patrol.
The area around the Mw6.4 Nevada EQ will continue to experience more earthquakes than usual. Some may be larger, but many smaller. Follow our aftershock forecast (https://t.co/UBnFCW2IrU) and remember to always Drop, Cover, and Hold on if you feel shaking. #usgs #NVQuake. pic.twitter.com/tZdmnQBkZR
— USGS (@USGS) May 15, 2020
The earthquake was initially given a magnitude of 6.4, which has since been updated. Multiple large aftershocks, over 4.5 in magnitude, were record in the hour after shaking and more are expected, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
Shaking was reported as far away as the Bay Area near San Francisco, Bakersfield, and Las Vegas.
According to the USGS, this was a shallow earthquake, with a depth of only 2.8 kilometers. It occurred “as the result of strike slip faulting” within the “Walker Lane,” an active zone roughly aligned with the California-Nevada border. You can read more about the tectonic history of the area and the analysis of the earthquake here.
The USGS does not expect major economic losses from this earthquake due to its rural location but damage to infrastructure is possible with an earthquake of this size. This story will be updated as new information becomes available.