ARNOLD—Another earthquake has been recorded in the Custer County area near Arnold, 31 km east southeast of Stapleton. The 3.3 magnitude earthquake occurred at approximately 8:15 a.m. on Thursday, according to the United State Geological Survey (USGS).
Thursday’s earthquake marked the seventh earthquake around Arnold in just 10 days. National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) representative John Bellini says it is not uncommon for areas like central Nebraska to experience series of earthquakes and aftershocks. Bellini is a geophysicist with the USGS and NEIC in Golden, Colorado.
“We call this a little series of earthquakes that occur. As you probably know, Nebraska is not a very seismically active state and there are several other states that are in a similar situation. But occasionally from time to time, we do get small forms of earthquakes like this in places that don’t typically have them,” Bellini said.
Bellini told KCNI/KBBN if there was something to worry about, we would see a slow increase in the magnitude of the earthquakes that are occurring. He said it is typical for a series of quakes to last a few days, weeks, or even months. The recent earthquakes appear to be sporadic in size and timing.
“In general with these types of small series of earthquakes there’s really generally nothing to worry about with them. It’s not a historically seismically active area and historically, there’s no large earthquakes that we’ve detected or know of. So it’s generally not something that people need to worry about,” Bellini said.
The USGS has recorded earthquakes over the last 10 days ranging in magnitude from 2.5 to 3.7, most occurring between 25-35 km (15-19 miles) east southeast of Stapleton. Bellini said even the highest magnitude earthquake felt in our area on April 10 (a 3.7 earthquake) is too small to cause any kind of real damage.
“We don’t really start seeing any kind of real damage until it’s over 4.5,” Bellini said.
He said shaking and rattling is normal and that a tall vase on an unbalanced shelf might fall down, but there is really no need to be concerned. However, Custer County residents might experience more minor earthquakes to come.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if this continues for another week. I wouldn’t be surprised if yesterday’s earthquake was the last one,” Bellini said.
Custer County Emergency Management Director Mark D. Rempe said the USGS office advised that there are likely to be aftershocks in light of recent earthquakes, but most commonly these are not big enough to be felt, are not likely to cause major damages, and there is no cause for concern.
The USGS also advised that these quakes are common all over the globe and can happen at any time. You can report any incidents that occur with either the Custer County Emergency Management Office at 308-872-3349 or the USGS office at 303-273-8500 and https://earthquake.usgs.gov under the “Latest Earthquakes” section by clicking on “Did You Feel It? Report it Here!” link.
After speaking with the Arnold Fire Chief, Rempe said in a release that there have been no damages or injuries reported at this time. All recent earthquakes have been reported at 5 km (3.1 miles) below the earth’s surface.
April 19: Magnitude 3.3, 8:15 a.m., 31 km ESE Stapleton
April 16: Magnitude 3.1, 4:48 p.m., 35 km ESE Stapleton
April 15: Magnitude 2.6, 6:39 p.m., 33 km ESE Stapleton
April 10: Magnitude 3.1, 10:49 a.m., 30 km ESE Stapleton
April 10: Magnitude 2.5, 6:55 a.m., 26 km ESE Stapleton
April 10: Magnitude 3.7, 6:41 a.m., 35 km SE Arnold
April 9: Magnitude 3.3, 4:33 a.m., 6.4 km SE Arnold