Anniversary of M 6.4 Earthquake in Reno (1914)—April 24

A pair of earthquakes strongly shook Reno in 1914 and caused light damage to the city. The first earthquake was about magnitude 6 and occurred on February 18th at 10:17 a.m. PST. Shaking in Reno, Sparks, and Virginia City was so strong that people rushed to the streets fearing buildings were going to collapse (dePolo and Garside, 2006). The earthquake lasted for about 10 seconds and broke windows, cracked walls, and sent some parts of a brick firewall crashing to the ground in Reno (REG 2/18/1914). The shaking cracked plaster and tossed contents on floors. The earthquake also cracked windows and caused bricks to fall as far away as Virginia City (DTE 2/19/1914). A second, larger (-M 6.4) earthquake struck Reno on April 24th at 12:34 a.m. PST. This earthquake was stronger than the February event in nearly every aspect, and again people ran out of buildings in Reno. People were awakened from their sleep as far away as the Sacramento Valley in California from the shaking. In Reno, bricks fell from buildings, plaster was cracked, windows were cracked, and dishes were broken (REG 4/24/1914). Four chimneys were damaged up on University Hill (REG 4/24/1914). In Virginia City, people who were awake dashed to the streets, as pictures were jarred from walls and dishes fell from shelves (DTE 4/24/1914). (from NBMG Special Publication 37, Damaging Earthquakes in Nevada: 1840s to 2008, by Craig dePolo)

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