Earthquakes Rattle Central Arizona; Reaction Mocked on Social Media

Three small earthquakes centered near Black Canyon City rattled central Arizona late Sunday night, shaking dishes, creating a cacophony of wind chimes and barking dogs, and giving many people pause as they suddenly felt their homes vibrating for a few seconds.

So far, no major damage or injuries have been reported, and authorities are saying it's possible more aftershocks will occur throughout today.

The U.S. Geological Survey reports that the first quake had a magnitude of 3.1 and occurred at 8:59 p.m.; the second, a magnitude 4.1, hit at 11:29 p.m.; and the third, a magnitude 4.0, happened at 11:49 p.m. 

Earthquakes aren't exactly rare in Arizona — a research team at Arizona State University recorded about 1,000 quakes in a three-year period between 2006-2009 — but 91 percent of them registered at a magnitude of 2.0 or smaller, meaning most people didn't feel them.

According to the USGS, the largest earthquake in Arizona's history was a 5.6 magnitude event on July 21, 1959: "Minor damage to chimneys and walls was reported . . . windows broke in houses and stores, and dishes fell from shelves."

So though neither the 1959 quake nor Sunday night's events are the type of seismic activity our neighbors to the west experience regularly, that didn't stop people from making fun of the reaction on social media.

Here are a few of our favorites:

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Miriam is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Miriam Wasser