M6.5 Monte Cristo Range Earthquake

Release Date:

A magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck near Tonopah, Nevada, near the California-Nevada border and about 120 miles southeast of Carson City, early this morning on May 15, 2020, at 4:03 am local time (11:03:27 UTC).

Seismic instruments indicate the earthquake originated at a depth of  1.7 miles (2.8 km). The quake occurred as the result of strike slip faulting in the shallow crust of the North America plate.

The earthquake struck about 34.7 miles (56 km) west of Tonopah, Nevada, and about 120 miles south east of Carson City, Nevada. Perceived shaking for the quake was strong to very strong. The event was widely felt, with more than 15,000 "Did You Feel It?" reports thus far submitted. The pager was green, meaning a low likelihood of casualties and damage.

This event is already triggering aftershocks, which will decrease in frequency over time. The largest aftershock at the time of writing was a M 5.1 event 23 minutes after the mainshock. See the aftershock forecast for details.

The USGS is coordinating its response with the Nevada Seismological Laboratory at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Visit the USGS earthquake event page for more information. For estimates of casualties and damage, visit the USGS Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response (PAGER) website.

If you felt this earthquake, report your experience on the “USGS Did You Feel It?” website for this event.