Magnitude-4.7 earthquake rattles Arizona residents

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX (AP) -- A moderate earthquake jostled residents of northern Arizona - a region where quakes are frequent but usually don't produce much damage or alarm.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude-4.7 temblor that hit Sunday night was centered 7 miles north of Sedona and 6 miles underground. There were no immediate reports of injury or major damage, though workers had to clear some rocks and debris from a highway between Sedona and Flagstaff.

"Business as usual," said David Brumbaugh, director of the Arizona Earthquake Information Center at Northern Arizona University. "It's nothing unusual to have earthquakes in this part of the state. Most of them are too small to be felt."

Still, more than 1,200 people used the U.S. Geological Survey's website to report that they'd felt the quake.

"I think what I heard was the house kind of rattling," said Donna Kearney Lomeo, a Sedona real estate agent. "It sounded like a bunch of balls rolling around on the roof."

Here are things to know about earthquakes in Arizona.

WHERE THEY'RE FELT

Earthquakes shake all corners of the state, but they're far more prevalent in northern Arizona and relatively infrequent in the desert cities where the vast majority of Arizonans live.

"You ask a lot of people around the state whether we have earthquakes and they can't believe we do - and we certainly do," said Jeri Young, a research geologist in Phoenix for the Arizona Geological Survey, a state agency.

While the U.S. Geological Survey lists a 5.6-magnitude quake on the Arizona-Utah border in 1959 as Arizona's strongest, Brumbaugh and Young said the largest quakes on record were three in northern Arizona that ranged in the 6.0-6.2-magnitude and occurred between 1906 and 1912.

TOLL FROM ARIZONA EARTHQUAKES

Unlike California, Arizona has had no earthquake in recorded history that caused deaths or injuries, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

However, the 1906-1912 quakes caused boulders to roll down from nearby mountains onto a Coconino National Forest construction crew's camp, ripped a 50-mile crack in the earth north of the San Francisco Peaks and damaged houses in Williams.

Recent data recorded 10-15 mostly small earthquakes monthly in Arizona, but northwestern Arizona has faults capable of generating a 7.0 quake, Young said.

That was the magnitude of the 2010 quake that killed more than 300,000 people in Haiti.

EARTHQUAKE GEOLOGY

Northern Arizona is at the southern end of a seismic belt that extends northward into Canada, Brumbaugh said.

Young said scientists will analyze sensor data from the Sunday night quake "to find out where the stresses are."

Unknown for now is whether it is a precursor to a larger one yet to come, Young said. "As time goes on the probability that was the main event becomes greater."

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AP writer Alina Hartounian contributed to this report.

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SEDONA, Ariz. (AP) -- A moderate earthquake that struck northern Arizona was widely felt around the tourist town of Sedona, but there were no reports of injury or damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the magnitude-4.7 temblor that hit Sunday night was centered 7 miles north of Sedona and 6 miles underground.

Area residents reported feeling shaking and swaying. The USGS website recorded 1,000 responses within an hour of the quake from people - mainly in Flagstaff and Sedona - saying they felt the quake.

"This is probably related to fault slip although at the magnitude that we're seeing here you wouldn't expect to see any ground rupture at all. It would be several miles beneath the earth's surface," said Dr. David S. Brumbaugh, Professor, Director of Arizona Earthquake Information Center at Northern Arizona University.

The Arizona Department of Transportation says crews removed some rocks and debris from a highway connecting Sedona, famous for its red rock formations, and the northern Arizona city of Flagstaff.

ADOT says State Route 89A has been checked and declared safe.

"I think there will be more aftershocks in the next 24 to 48 hours," Brumbaugh said. "They'll be much smaller than the main shock which is usually the way aftershocks go."

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Highway safe for traffic after quake near Sedona

SEDONA, Ariz. (AP) -- The Arizona Department of Transportation says a highway connecting Sedona and Flagstaff is clear and open to traffic following a moderate earthquake.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the magnitude-4.7 temblor was felt Sunday night and centered seven miles north of Sedona and six miles underground.

ADOT says crews removed some rocks and debris from State Route 89A, checked the highway and declared it safe. There were no reports of injury or damage.

Area residents reported feeling shaking and swaying, and the USGS website recorded 1,000 responses within an hour of the quake from people - mainly in Flagstaff and Sedona - saying they felt the quake.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Moderate earthquake rattles Flagstaff region

SEDONA, Ariz. (AP) -- A moderate earthquake that struck near Sedona was widely felt in the area, but there were no reports of injury or damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the magnitude-4.7 temblor struck shortly before 11 p.m. Sunday and was centered seven miles north of Sedona and six miles underground.

The USGS website recorded 1,000 responses within an hour of the quake from people - mainly in Flagstaff and Sedona - saying they felt the quake.

Sgt. Gerrit Boeck of the Coconino County Sheriff's office says residents called about the quake, but there were no reports of injury or damage.

Police in Sedona and Flagstaff both gave similar reports.


© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.