‘Earthquake country’: State agencies highlight quake preparedness

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Following a series of earthquakes in Nevada County, state officials say now is the time to remind everyone wildfires are not the only natural disasters they are preparing for.

“These small earthquakes are great reminders that we do live in earthquake country,” said Tim Dawson, with the California Geological Survey. 

Thursday’s 4.7-magnitude earthquake outside of Truckee follows a series of seismic activity within the Sierra Valley region in recent weeks. On May 2, several small earthquakes struck near South Lake Tahoe, registering at magnitudes of 2.8 and 2.7. 

The recent earthquakes have been gaining the attention of geologists like Dawson. 

“This earthquake happened in an area that’s one of interest, especially by some research groups from the University of Nevada, Reno,” Dawson told FOX40. “They’ve been actively looking at the faults in this area and using that data to map these faults and develop a better picture of where the faults are in this area.” 

With the small earthquakes, some wonder if they are a precursor to something a bit larger in the future. 

“It’s hard to say. I mean, any small earthquake could develop into or trigger a larger earthquake,” Dawson said. “It doesn’t happen that often, it’s very rare, but it can happen.” 

That’s why the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services is glad to have been the first to launch an earthquake early warning system. 

“Last night was actually one of the first significant opportunities we’ve had to utilize it,” said Brian Ferguson, “If you were in San Francisco last night, you would have gotten 15 or 20 seconds of warning of this earthquake that was near Truckee.” 

The early warning system is available through the app store and already installed on Android devices. Cal OES’s MyShake app can alert people at the first rumble of trouble. 

“We actually work with partners at the United States Geological Survey, Cal Berkeley and Caltech to have an app that uses state-of-the-art motion sensors that are buried deep in the ground,” said Brian Ferguson. “And it actually sends a signal which notifies people who are in an area that could experience an earthquake of 4.5 or greater.” 

It would give people more time and awareness for earthquakes. 

“Just by taking a few minutes, putting that app on your phone, you can give your family life-saving seconds to protect themselves should an earthquake occur,” Ferguson said. 

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