Thursday, April 24, 2008

Series of minor earthquakes shakes Reno; no major damage

RENO,Nev.-A swarm of earthquakes rattled Reno on Thursday afternoon, causing downtown buildings to sway and cracking windows in residential areas.The strongest quake, with a magnitude of 4.2, was centered 6 miles west of Reno, the U.S. Geological Survey said.It shook downtown for about 30 seconds just before 4 p.m. and followed a 4.1-magnitude quake minutes earlier. No injuries or major damage were reported."It shook the whole house real good," said Rick Dinoso, a resident of the northwest part of town that has been rattled by dozens of smaller earthquakes since the end of February."This was the strongest one in the last two months. I was wondering whether I should grab the kid and get under the table," he said. "You could see the sides of the house swaying."The Geological Survey recorded more than 30 smaller earthquakes over about a two-hour period, including seven registering 2.4 and above.Only the two largest quakes were felt throughout Reno's downtown casino and business district.The University of Nevada, Reno's seismology laboratory reported the two largest quakes were "widely felt" throughout Reno and neighboring Sparks. It said aftershocks could be expected for several days.Stuart Smith, the head golf pro at Somersett Country Club near the epicenter, reported "pretty violent shaking.""Anytime you get a rattling like that, you are going to strike fear in some people," he said. "A couple of my employees were scared."Earthquake magnitudes are calculated according to ground motion recorded on seismographs. An increase in one full number-from 6.5 to 7.5, for example-means the quake's magnitude is 10 times as great.A quake with a magnitude of 6 can cause severe damage, while one with a magnitude of 7 can cause widespread, heavy damage.
On the Net:
University of Nevada, Reno, seismology lab:*http://www.seismo.unr.educ
U.S. Geological Survey:*;_ylt=And2z5ty5_Zizk3Rn0QE2KJH2ocA
As in the days of Noah....

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