Reno Earthquake Risk?Reno Earthquake

Magnitude 6.5 earthquake hits off Northern California coast


Today, Thursday, December 8, 2016,  a 6.5 magnitude earthquake took place off the coast of California near Ferndale. While there appears to be little damage, it should remind all of us that Reno earthquakes happen as well.  Almost a year ago on December 24, 2015, Southwest Reno experienced a  4.4 magnitude quake that rattled Reno homes and the nerves of local residents. (CBS News)

Reno earthquakes, we’ve had our fair share including the Somerset-Mogul Swarm which lasted from January – May in 2008, with some 620 events registered, the largest being 4.7 on the Richter Scale. The last strong Reno earthquake (M6.1) occurred on April 24, 1914 and the state’s most powerful quake to date was the M7.4  1915 Pleasant Valley earthquake south of Winnemucca.

Earthquake Zone Map

As you can see from the Seismic Zone Map, the bulk of the sever earthquake activity takes place along the west coast of the United States. However, there are some major faults that run along the Sierra-Nevada mountains right up into the Reno area. As a former home builder coming from the mid-west, I used to curse the structural engineers that would call-out the multitude of hold-downs, metal straps and additional shear nailing required in building Reno homes.  It wasn’t until I experienced a Reno earthquake while building a custom home in Incline Village, that I came to terms with the need for all the additional earthquake related hardware. We are fortunate that much of the land in Reno is located on granite bedrock and when an earthquake hits it feels more like a truck ran into the house. In other areas, especially areas that have been built up with fill, earthquakes can do more harm as the seismic waves tend to shake homes and buildings from side-to-side causing greater damage to the structure.

Reno Earthquakes Lets Get Prepared

So now that we are aware of the potential for Reno earthquakes it only makes sense that we all practice some earthquake preparedness. Here is a LINK to some information that just might save your life in the event of a serious earthquake. In addition here is a Safety Check List prepared by the Red Cross that you can download and print for reference. If you know anyone that would benefit from this information please pass this link on to them