Three small earthquakes rattled parts of central Arizona, jolting people in cities 160 miles apart, including parts of the Phoenix area. There were no immediate reports of injury or major damage.
The U.S. Geological Survey said a magnitude 4.1 temblor struck at 11:29 p.m. Sunday, followed by a 4.0 quake about 20 minutes later. A smaller, magnitude-3.2 quake, hit at 9 p.m.
The USGS said all the quakes ranged from 3-6 miles in depth and were centered near Black Canyon City, about 45 miles north of Phoenix.
Black Canyon City resident Tami Barto said she woke up when one of the quakes shook her home and stirred up her dogs.
Black Canyon City is located in a rural part of southeastern Yavapai County just north of the Maricopa County line.
The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office got numerous calls but had no reports of damage or injury, spokesman Dwight D’Evelyn. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office had no reports of damage, spokesman Chris Hegstrom said.
The USGS website recorded scores of responses from people in such suburban Phoenix cities as Cave Creek, Peoria, Scottsdale and Glendale who reported feeling at least one of the quakes.
Geologist Michael Conway, chief of the Geologic Extension Service of the Arizona Geological Survey, said the quakes were felt pretty widely – as far south as Casa Grande and as far north as Flagstaff.
He said it’s not a surprise that Phoenix residents would feel earthquakes centered in central Arizona. The region has numerous active and inactive faults, some as far south as Carefree in the northern fringe of the Phoenix area, Conway said.
However, there aren’t any known faults directly under Phoenix itself, Conway said from Tucson. “Certainly no young ones.”
Recent significant quakes in Arizona include a 4.7 that shook the Sedona area in north-central Arizona in November 2014. A magnitude 5.2 earthquake shook southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona in June 2014.
Still, the fact that the shaking Sunday night was felt in parts of the Phoenix metro area will provide a teachable moment when geologists and public-safety officials conduct earthquake preparedness training in schools, Conway said.
That training urges people to drop down, find overhead cover such as a table and hold on.
“We’ll probably point to this when we go back to the Phoenix area and say there’s a reason for this training to take place,” he said.
Arizona Public Service Co. had an outage affecting 9,700 customers in Peoria start shortly after 11 p.m. Sunday, but it was due to equipment failure at a substation, the utility’s spokesman, Alan Bunnell, said. “We had no reason to believe it had anything to do with the earthquakes.”
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