At least six earthquakes, including one with a preliminary magnitude of 4.2, rocked the Lake Tahoe, Reno and Carson City area on the California-Nevada border on Friday morning, according to the United States Geological Survey.
The loudest hit near the north end of the lake in Dollar Point, Calif., Around 8:30 a.m. PT, and could be felt for miles in Reno and Carson City, Nevada’s capital. There are no reports of damage immediately.
The moment of the biggest quake was filmed during a meeting of the state Senate finance committee on expanding Medicaid coverage.
“And we’re in the middle of an earthquake,” State Senator Chris Brooks said as the plexiglass could be seen in motion.
In the reflection of the glass, you could see someone waving their hands. After a few minutes, Mr Brooks added, “Okay, the earthquake is over.
He joked with an MP, Michelle Gorelow, about to present to the committee, “You are really making an entrance.”
The earthquake was also felt during an Assembly Ways and Means Committee hearing, which interrupted a presentation by Nevada State Senator Julia Ratti.
“So that was fun. It’s pretty good, ”Ms. Ratti said. “There is important business going on today, so we will continue. “
The geological survey initially reported that the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 4.1, but this has been revised upwards. It followed a precedent with a preliminary magnitude of 2.9, which struck around 5 a.m. local time in the Dollar Point area, according to the USGS.
Later Friday morning, four more smaller earthquakes were reported, with preliminary magnitudes ranging from 2.7 to 3.1, according to the geological survey.
Alex Hatem, a USGS research geologist, said the 4.2 quake this morning occurred in a fault zone known as the Walker Lane.
“This area is known for its complex and closely spaced faults of different styles, including the fault style that occurred during the Dollar Point event,” Ms. Hatem said. “Given this complexity, coupled with the small magnitude of the event, we cannot determine the exact flaw that ruptured during this event at this time.”
Employees of the Obexer Boat Company, a marina on the western shore of Lake Tahoe, felt the biggest earthquake shake their building.
Office and real estate manager Joanne Kilburn said she was sitting at her desk preparing for what would be a busy Memorial Day weekend when she felt the tremor.
“The walls kind of cracked and the building shook,” she said. “I was afraid I would need to go out.”
Other workers at the complex, which includes a store, a hut on the pier and a pavilion, also felt the tremors, which lasted only a few seconds.
“Our general store manager said he was watching the liquor wall because he was afraid it might collapse,” she said.
Ms Kilburn said she had not felt the previous quake about three hours before. “We’ve had it fairly regularly over the past two months. “
A magnitude 4.1 earthquake is strong enough to be felt, but only causes minor damage, according to Michigan University of Technology.
So far, it doesn’t appear that there has been any damage to anything other than people’s nerves.
The Carson City Fire Department said it had not been sent to any Friday morning calls related to the earthquakes. The Reno Fire Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.