August 20, 2014
Dozens of earth quakes continue to rattle residents in an area just south west of Hawthorne, Nevada. Seismologists at UNR are keeping a close eye on that activity. So far, the largest quake in the swarm is a 4.4, at 3:10 Wednesday afternoon. The activity continued into Friday with two more 4.0 quakes, and one 4.3. This recent activity has also been close to the earth’s surface which makes it easer to feel and more likely to cause damage.
Graham Kent, Director of the UNR Seismology Lab says the quakes are not happing directly on a fault line it’s difficult to say how big they might get. He says if they were along the Walker Lake fault it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect a quake as large as a magnitude 7.0. Graham also says the activity could shift suddenly. “"We could be looking at Hawthorne, and the next big earthquake could happen in Reno in a couple hours,” warns Kent. “So we always have to be prepared.”