Multiple Earthquakes Felt in Lake Tahoe, Carson City and Reno
The biggest, with a magnitude of 4.2, briefly startled lawmakers in session in the Nevada capital. There were no immediate reports of damage.,
Multiple earthquakes, including one with a preliminary magnitude of 4.2, shook the Lake Tahoe, Reno and Carson City area early Friday on the California-Nevada border, according to the United States Geological Survey.
The strongest one struck near the north end of the lake at Dollar Point, Calif., around 8:30 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time, and could be felt miles away in Reno and in Carson City, the Nevada capital. There were no immediate reports of damage.
The moment of the biggest quake was caught on video during a State Senate finance committee meeting on expanding Medicaid coverage.
“And we are in the midst of an earthquake,” State Senator Chris Brooks said as plexiglass could be seen moving.
In the reflection of the glass, someone could be seen waving their hands. After a few minutes, Mr. Brooks added, “All right, earthquake over.”
He joked to an assemblywoman, Michelle Gorelow, about to present to the committee, “you really make an entrance.”
The earthquake was also felt during an Assembly Ways and Means committee hearing, which interrupted a presentation by Nevada State Senator Julia Ratti.
“So that was fun. That’s a pretty good one, ” Ms. Ratti said. “Important business happening today, so we’re just going to keep going.”
The geological survey initially reported that the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 4.1, but that was revised upward. It followed an earlier one with a preliminary magnitude of 2.9, which struck around 5 a.m. local time in the Dollar Point area, according to the U.S.G.S.
Later Friday morning, four more smaller earthquakes were reported, with preliminary magnitudes ranging from 2.7 to 3.1, according to the geological survey.
Alex Hatem, a U.S.G.S. research geologist, said the 4.2 earthquake this morning occurred in a faulting area known as Walker Lane.
“This area is known for complex and closely spaced faults of different styles, including the style of faulting that occurred in the Dollar Point event,” Ms. Hatem said. “Given this complexity, coupled with the small magnitude of the event, we cannot determine the exact fault that ruptured in this event at this time.”
Employees at the Obexer Boat Company, a marina on the west side of Lake Tahoe, felt the biggest quake shake their building.
Joanne Kilburn, the office and property manager, said she was sitting at her desk preparing for what would be a busy Memorial Day weekend when she felt the tremble.
“The walls sort of cracked and the building shook,” she said. “I was concerned that I needed to get out.”
Other employees in the complex, which includes a store, pier shack and lodge, also felt the shaking, which lasted only several seconds.
“Our manager in the general store said he was watching the liquor wall because he was afraid that it was going to come down,” she said.
Ms. Kilburn said she had not felt the earlier quake about three hours before. “We have been having them over the past couple of months pretty regularly.”
An earthquake with a magnitude of 4.1 is strong enough to be felt, but cause only minor damage, according to Michigan Technological University.
So far, it did not appear there had been damage to anything but people’s nerves.
The Carson City Fire Department said it had not been dispatched to any calls early Friday related to the earthquakes. The Reno Fire Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.