Light earthquake rattles northern Arizona - East Valley Tribune: News

Light earthquake rattles northern Arizona

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Posted: Wednesday, March 2, 2005 10:30 am | Updated: 7:57 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

PHOENIX - A light earthquake struck northern Arizona early Wednesday, causing people more than 100 miles away to report feeling the tremor, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The 4.6-magnitude quake occurred at 4:13 a.m. local time southwest of Winslow. It was the largest of seven quakes in the area since Jan. 28, said Waverly Person, a geophysicist at the USGS National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo.

Residents in Scottsdale, Gilbert, Flagstaff, Winslow, Prescott and Phoenix contacted the USGS to report feeling the quake.

No damage was reported.

"People described it as a bump, the wind blowing, a truck going by," Person said.

Series of earthquakes like the one in northern Arizona over the last month are not unusual, he said. There are about 60 earthquakes daily worldwide.

The other recent quakes in the area had magnitudes between 3 and 4, Person said. There were quakes with magnitudes of 4 on Jan. 28 and Jan. 30.

It won't be known for a couple days whether another quake will occur, said David Brumbaugh, director of the Arizona Earthquake Information Center.

"The stress gets released over time. This could be the main shock or it could be a foreshock," Brumbaugh said.

No earthquake has caused deaths or injuries in Arizona, according to the USGS.

In the past century, 14 tremors of moderate intensity have occurred in the state.

The state's three largest quakes, which had magnitudes between 6 and 6.2, happened in 1906, 1910 and 1912. They were all in northern Arizona. The 1906 quake caused minor damage in Flagstaff, Brumbaugh said.

A series of 52 earthquakes in September 1910 caused a construction crew in the Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff to leave the area. Boulders rolled down onto their camp from nearby mountains, and the ground constantly quivered, according to the USGS.

The shocks grew in intensity until Sept. 23, when a strong shock was felt throughout northern Arizona. American Indians fled from an area north of the San Francisco Peaks.

In a more recent quake, one shook an area near the Utah state line in 1959. It had a magnitude of 5.6. Minor damage to chimneys and walls was reported in Fredonia and nearby Kanab, Utah.

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