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Large Earthquake in Nevada Shakes the West

15 May 2020, 6:57 am

A large earthquake woke up some residents of California and Nevada with a jolt Friday morning.

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 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.

About the author

Rob grew up in South Florida, where daily afternoon storms and hurricanes piqued his interest in meteorology early on. That interest was fostered by his teachers and his father, who one time brought him onto the roof of their home to watch a funnel cloud move through the Everglades several miles away. ... Load MoreYears of filmmaking and tv production in high school gradually pushed him toward broadcast meteorology at Florida State University, where he joined and eventually led the student run daily weather show. After graduating with a Bachelors of Science in Meteorology, he began his career at KESQ in Palm Springs, California before heading to KFSN in Fresno and WLOS in Asheville, North Carolina. He has covered a diverse array of extreme weather events, including haboobs and flash flooding in the desert, extreme snow in the Sierra, hurricanes, and Appalachian ice storms. He also enjoys telling stories and reporting about weather issues.

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