String of earthquakes rattle tiny Nebraska town again

String of earthquakes rattle tiny Nebraska town again
Another series of small earthquakes has hit near the tiny town of Arnold, Nebraska, seen here in 2013. (World-Herald News Service)

Stephanie Reed would be happy if she never feels another earthquake again.

She lives near the tiny Nebraska town of Arnold, which has been rattled again by another series of small earthquakes, causing concern among some residents.

“It’s been awfully strange for sure,” Reed said. “You never know when they are going to happen.”

Arnold, which is northeast of North Platte, experienced a series of small quakes in April.

Eight more hit recently, with nearly all of them originating near Arnold, according to the Colorado-based United States Geological Survey. The first of the recent quakes hit June 30 and the most recent was Thursday. They’ve ranged in magnitude from 2.7 to 4.1.

Earthquakes between 5.0 and 5.9 can cause structural damage, though all the quakes in the Arnold area have been below that range.

Glen Bowers, chairman of the Arnold Village Board, said residents in the community of 600 are getting worried about the potential for a larger one that could cause damage.

Federal earthquake experts say there’s no reason for alarm.

Residents in the Arnold area have said they’ve felt their homes shake, heard dishes rattle and seen picture frames on walls moved off center. Some people have said a sound similar to thunder has accompanied the recent quakes.

“It startles you,” said Pat Scott, who lives in Arnold.

Julie Dutton, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey, said it’s not unusual for a series of quakes to hit in the same area, and there’s no reason for residents in Arnold to be alarmed. She said there is no way to predict earthquakes big or small.

Quakes occur on faults, or cracks in the Earth’s crust, and there are such fractures everywhere in the world, including Nebraska.

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