An earthquake hit the West Coast of the United States Thursday afternoon, with several people feeling the shocks hundreds of miles away, according to the U.S Geological Survey. The catastrophe was reported south of Lake Tahoe and generated a series of intense aftershocks. One shock was even recorded at a magnitude of 4.6, as noted by the USGS.
Although there were no injuries or severe damages reported, the earthquake in itself was a massive one in decades. According to Graham Kent, director of the University of Nevada, Reno’s seismological lab, the quake was the biggest in “almost two and a half decades.”
Initially, two distinct earthquakes were reported in the area but it was soon deduced that the border of California-Nevada was hit by one high-magnitude quake. The incorrect report had stemmed from an automatic systems error, as affirmed by Seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones on Twitter.
The USGS later made amendments to the report, where they removed one quake that was falsely reported in the south of Stockton in California. Jones didn’t seem surprised about the aftershocks reaching places far from the epicenter.
Given that the quake had an exceptionally high magnitude, it isn’t surprising that the jolts were felt in places as far as the Central Valley. The shocks were felt in a minimum of 2 states and by 6 pm, more than 20,000 reports had poured into the USGS website.
Reno City Hall was reported to be the epicenter of the massive quake. According to Mayor Hillary Schieve, the north side of the area was immediately evacuated. Sally Rosen, the resident of Walker, an area near the epicenter, said that her two-year-old was taking a short nap in their home when the earthquake hit.
In conversation with KGO-TV in San Francisco, she spoke of her experience and how it was unclear whether the shaking was part of an earthquake. Rosen further elaborated, saying the jolts were “pretty intense” and “scary.”
Upon running to her restaurant behind the house, she saw cups and other cutlery flying off the shelves due to the immense shaking. Additionally, several people even took to Twitter to post snippets of the after-effects of the earthquake on U.S 395 through Lake Tahoe. A representative told the Stockton Record that a few cars had borne the brunt of rocks, but no one was seriously injured.
The National Weather Service office was among those who tweeted about the quake, which allegedly lasted for at least a minute. Other netizens mentioned the flow of water in their pools and a slight shaking of buildings. California’s Office of Emergency Services took to Twitter to comment on the situation and affirm that they are managing the situation to the best of their ability.