Magnitude 6.4 Earthquake Hits Nevada, Felt in Reno and Beyond

Nevada Earthquake
An earthquake struck Nevada on Friday morning. USGS

A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck Nevada early Friday morning, causing people in California to report feeling shaking.

The earthquake's epicenter was 42 miles from Tonopah, Nevada, a town located about halfway between Las Vegas and Reno, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). As a magnitude 6.4, it's possible that damage could be caused to buildings and structures, especially in highly populated areas.

In areas closest to the epicenter, people reported feeling moderate shaking, the USGS reported, and people as far as San Jose, California, claimed to have felt weak and light shaking. As has come to be the norm during earthquakes, people quickly started posting images, gifs and memes about the earthquake on Twitter.

The USGS estimated that fatalities, if there were any, would likely be minimal and put the area on a green alert, the lowest level of the alerting system. It also put the area on green alert for economic losses, partially because people in the region generally live in structures that are resistant to earthquake shaking.

At least 13 additional earthquakes in the area, referred to as aftershocks, were reported for Tonopah and one was rated as a magnitude 5.1. Eight were higher than a magnitude 4.0.

Additional earthquakes were expected to occur over the following week, most likely including ones that are a magnitude 3 or higher. After about a week, the number of aftershocks will drop off, according to the USGS, but if there's a large aftershock, those numbers could temporarily increase again.

This isn't rare for earthquakes, as they don't occur as isolated events but are part of sequences. There had been three magnitude 3 or higher earthquakes in this current sequence and the one on Friday morning became the first magnitude 5 or higher, the USGS reported.