April 2016 – ARIZONA – Arizona is experiencing an unusual earthquake swarm in the northwest part of the state. Nearly two dozen small earthquakes have hit in 10 days. They’re happening in a remote northwest part of Arizona. Some of the quakes are so small, you’d never even feel them. “There is always a small chance that these are foreshocks and something larger could happen, but that’s only usually a few percent of the time,”said Lee Allison, sirector of the Arizona Geological Survey. The shaking may be light, but state geologist Allison says this kind of “earthquake swarm” hasn’t happened here in at least a decade.
“We don’t know right now, is this swarm of earthquakes something that is very unusual and hasn’t happened before or do we see these things and we just haven’t been able to record them and we didn’t know they were going on?” said Allison. Allison says this shaking is happening on a small fault, about 10 miles long, adding that usually determines how big the quakes can get.
“At this point, we’re not anticipating anything larger, much larger than the earthquakes we’ve already seen,” said Allison. The earthquake swarm, though, is allowing scientists to start projecting out, to get an idea of how big an earthquake might occur in that region. “We don’t have as many active faults as California, but we have seen historically earthquakes as large as 6.5 occurring within the state,” said Allison.
The largest earthquake in this swarm so far is a 3.4 magnitude quake, which happened early Friday morning near Littlefield, which is northwest of Flagstaff. These earthquakes are also a good reminder to all of us to make sure we’re stocked up on our emergency preparedness items, in case of any kind of natural disaster really, even a power outage. Stock up now on emergency supplies that can be used after an earthquake. These supplies should include a first aid kit, survival kits for the home, automobile, and workplace, and emergency water and food. Store enough supplies to last at least three days. –AZ Family