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Earthquakes to consecutively hit the US

06:25 | 17/05/2020

An earthquake with a revised magnitude of 6.5 hit a remote area of Nevada on Friday morning, another earthquake on the Alabama-Tennessee state line was also detected Thursday evening, the US Geological Survey says.

 

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earthquakes to consecutively hit the us
An earthquake with a revised magnitude of 6.5 hit a remote area of Nevada on Friday morning (Photo: CNN)

An earthquake with a revised magnitude of 6.5 hit a remote area of Nevada on Friday morning, about 225 miles northwest of Las Vegas and near the California border, the US Geological Survey says.

The quake, which was 4.7 miles deep, occurred at 4:03 a.m. local time, the USGS says.

The revised ranking makes the quake the first large one since 1954, said Graham Kent, director of the Nevada Seismological Laboratory.

"As the third most seismic state in the nation, we kind of had a streak of not having big earthquakes for 66 years," Kent said.

"This was a magnitude 6.5, and it was certainly felt in the Reno-Tahoe area, and also throughout the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys in California," Kent said.

The earthquake was "widely felt," USGS spokesman Paul Laustsen told CNN.

Esmeralda County Sheriff's Deputy Jacob Stritenberger felt the main earthquake and it was the biggest one he's ever experienced, he said.

The epicenter was about 35 miles west of the town of Tonopah, east of the Sierra Nevada range, according to the USGS. The USGS gave an initial report of a 6.4 magnitude.

The USGS said in its aftershock forecast that there will be between 63 and 260 aftershocks with a magnitude of 3.0 or greater over the next seven days. There is a 4% chance of one with a magnitude of 6.5 or more.

earthquakes to consecutively hit the us
A third earthquake in less than a week was detected near the Alabama-Tennessee State line on May 14, 2020. The quake, in Tennessee, was about 17 miles north of Athens. The epicenter of the quake is marked by the star. (Photo: Alabama)

A third earthquake in less than a week on the Alabama-Tennessee state line was also detected Thursday evening, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The epicenter of all three earthquakes were in Tennessee. Thursday's quake was about five miles north of the Alabama line near Athens.

The magnitude of the earthquake was 2.4, the USGS said. Such minor earthquakes are typically not noticed beyond instrumentation.

The latest earthquake was further west than the two occurring on Sunday. The quakes last Sunday, both occurring near Sewanee and about 33 miles west of Chattanooga, were also stronger. Those quakes were magnitude 3.1 and 2.8, according to Alabama.

Thursday's earthquake occurred 17.5 miles north of Athens and 28.7 miles north of Madison, according to the USGS. The nearest town to the epicenter was Elkton, Tenn., which was 7 miles away.

The quake occurred at 6:27 p.m. Thursday at a depth of 6.8 miles below the earth’s surface.

earthquakes to consecutively hit the us
The reduction in sun's activity recently is believed to trigger more earthquakes (Photo: News)

The sun is currently in the "minimum" phase (solar minimum), which means that surface activities are greatly reduced. Experts believe that we are entering the deepest sun decline ever recorded when sunspots have almost disappeared. This current situation of the sun is believed to trigger more earthquakes recently, according to News. 

Astronomer, Dr. Tony Phillips said: "The minima is happening and it is happening silently. The amount of sunspots shows that this is one of the deepest declines of the last century, allowing outer cosmic rays to touch the solar system. Excessive cosmic rays can endanger the health of astronauts and people". 

NASA scientists fear the situation may repeat the Dalton Minima which occurred in 1790-1830. This minimum led to a period of climate change, devastating cold, crop failures, famines, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The temperature dropped to 2 degrees Celsius after 20 years, devastating the world's food industry. On April 10, 1815, the second largest eruption in 2,000 years at Tambora Mountain, Indonesia, killed at least 71,000 people. It also caused "No Summer," in 1816, when snow fell in July. 

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