May 15th, 2020

Tonopah Westercon

Shake It Up

[Manually crossposted because apparently the DW-to-LJ crossposting is broken again.]

There was a 6.5 earthquake 56 km / 35 miles northwest of Tonopah, Nevada this morning. It woke me up just after 4 AM. Given that I'm used to sleeping through passing heavy freight trains running 80 m / 260 ft north of our house on the Union Pacific mainline, that's really saying something. Lisa (who has been up at night and sleeping days lately) also felt it.

Reports I've seen show that Tonopah itself was mostly unharmed although groceries did fall off shelves. It appears that the worst damage was a large crack across US-95 near the epicenter. That required US-95 to be closed between NV-360 and US-6 while NVDOT made emergency repairs. The highway reopened around 2 PM today.

Where I live in Fernley is about 125 mi / 200 km (as the crow flies) north from the epicenter of the 'quake. People reported feeling it from Portland to Phoenix and Salt Lake City to San Diego.

Western Nevada and Eastern California do get earthquakes. When I lived in Bishop CA, I was there when we had a swarm of 6.0 quakes (three in four days as I recall). Although the major earthquake faults on California's west coast get more publicity, the inland area have their own share of activity, mostly as I understand it volcanic in nature. There are numerous hot springs throughout this area, and you don't get hot springs without hot rocks down beneath the surface, and that means geologically active areas.

I'm glad to hear that there were apparently no injuries or serious damage other than the cracked roadway.