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 Tucson's biggest quake 1,000 times stronger than Saturday's
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1 month ago

Tucson's biggest quake 1,000 times stronger than Saturday's

TUCSON - Saturday's earthquake had 1,000 times less energy than the 1887 quake that shook Arizona.

On May 3, 1887, around 2 p.m., an estimated 7.2 magnitude earthquake shook people from Mexico City to Phoenix. The epicenter was about 50 miles south of Douglas, near Bavispe, Sonora. The fault scarp was visible just 5 south of Douglas.

The Arizona Geological Survey has a book about the events that was put together in 1980.

The quake killed more than 50 people in Mexico. In Pima and Cochise Counties, it scared people, horses, cows and dogs.

Rockslides sparked wildfires in the Catalina, Rincon, Huachuca, Santa Rita, and Chiracahua Mountains among others. Some streams and geysers went dry, while other rivers and washes started to flow.

In Charleston, on the San Pedro River between Sierra Vista and Tombstone, no buildings were safe to live in anymore. Some of the fish died because of the ashes from the wildfires.

That quake only happens once every 10,000 to 100,000 years, according to a YouTube video about the event.

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1 month ago

Arizona 5.2 magnitude quake rare, sees 100s of small tremors each year

TUCSON - Seismologists are evaluating the 5.2 magnitude earthquake that shook parts of southeastern Arizona and western New Mexico on Saturday night.

The Arizona Geological Survey has dubbed the seismic incident as the "Duncan Earthquake." More than 2,200 reports were filed with the U.S. Geological Survey for having felt the shake, which originated near the Arizona-New Mexico border.

Arizona State Geologist Lee Allison told News 4 Tucson that a quake of this magnitude in that area is extremely rare - only occurring once every 50-100 years. Since the initial earthquake, Allison said at least 15 aftershocks have been recorded and more are expected in the coming days and weeks.

"We don't know of any active faults out there -- so this may help us have a better understanding of the geology out there," Allison said.

Allison and his team are analyzing the nature of the waveforms from seismographs placed across the state to record the shockwaves.

"We have lots of small earthquakes, hundreds of them per year but a magnitude five or larger is very rare," Allison said.

While no significant damage was reported, KVOA viewers sent in photos of cracked walls and crumbling ceilings - some physical evidence of a rare earthquake.

"If that had been in one of our major cities we would have seen a lot of damage that could have caused cracking or even collapse of poorly built structures so we were so lucky that it was in such a remote area," Allison said.

The U.S. Geological Survey is looking to collect as much data it can from Saturday's earthquake - which includes your personal experience, whether you felt it or not.

You can submit your story here.

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1 month ago

Three aftershocks felt in Southern Arizona overnight

DUNCAN, Ariz.- Three aftershocks continued to rattle the ground in Southeastern Arizona overnight, after an initial 5.2 magnitude earthquake struck near the Arizona-New Mexico border just before 10 p.m. Saturday night.

A 3.5 magnitude aftershock hit the same area at 10:08 p.m., another 3.4 magnitude struck at 1:25 a.m., and the third aftershock was reported as a 3.6 magnitude at 7:33 a.m. Sunday morning.

The USGS is officially listing the area of the quake about 31 miles northwest of Lordsburg, New Mexico. The closest Arizona towns are San Simon and Duncan.

No major damage has been reported, but some people are reporting light damage to their property.

The quake was felt throughout Southern Arizona, Southern New Mexico and as far north as Phoenix.

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1 month ago

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits Southern Arizona

A 5.2 magnitude earthquake struck near the Arizona-New Mexico border just before 10 p.m. Saturday night.

The USGS said the quake struck 31 miles northwest of Lordsburg, New Mexico. The closest Arizona towns are San Simon and Duncan.

A 3.5 magnitude aftershock hit the same area at 10:08 p.m.

No major damage has been reported.

The quake was felt throughout Southern Arizona, Southern New Mexico and as far north as Phoenix.

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