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Nevada earthquake swarm sparks warning

Are the hundreds of shakers building up to the Big One?
By Mary Papenfuss   |   Updated Nov. 8, 2014 at 8:48 AM

LAKEVIEW, Ore., Nov. 8 (UPI) -- An intensifying swarm of hundreds of earthquakes in Nevada has rattled seismologists, who are issuing warnings that a major shaker could be on its way.

Nearly 750 earthquakes, mostly magnitude 2.0 to 3.0, have struck an area about 50 miles southeast of Lakeview, Ore., since the swarm started in July. They're growing steadily stronger, with one hitting 4.6. More than 40 have struck in the last two days.

"This week it has just gone crazy," Ian Madin, chief scientist for Oregon's Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, told the Los Angeles Times.

The area is mostly uninhabited but also includes the small town of Lakeview, whose 2,300 residents should be prepared, say officials. Scientists believe groundwater is percolating along the faults and building up pressure, making major movement much easier.

"If you are not ready for an earthquake, now is an awfully good time to get ready for an earthquake," said a local official.

The swarm is similar to one that occurred in 1968 in Adel, Oregon, lasting several months and producing three earthquakes over magnitude 5 that caused moderate damage.

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