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2012 Las Vegas earthquake

Date:

4:55 PM; June 29, 2012

Magnitude:

9.7 (Richter scale)

Depth:

7.5 miles (12 km)

Epicenter:

36° 6'52.73"N, 115°10'22.14"W

Countries/Region affected:


United States

Intensity:

MM X

Casualties:

6,578

Tsunami:

No (inland)

The 2012 Las Vegas earthquake was a magnitude 9.7 earthquake that occured at 4:55 PM local time on June 29, 2012, and leveled most of the city of Las Vegas. The epicenter was located directly beneath the Vegas Strip, specifically the intersection between Dunes Road and Las Vegas Boulevard. Damage to the city was near total, with all buildings, including McCarran International Airport, where the terminal building nearly collapsed, and several planes refueling exploded on the ground, as well as the near-destruction of the airport's control tower. Massive, thirty foot wide by half-mile long fissures were reported all across the airport grounds and even larger ones across the entire Vegas metro area. Water, gas, and electrical services were completely disabled to the entire city, evidenced by the ten foot-high geysers of water erupting the city streets, as well as sparking electrical lines, which ignited broken gas lines up and down the Vegas Strip. The explosions from ignited gas lines caused further chaos throughout an already torn city. Vegas City Hall was heavily damaged by the quake itself, and nearly collapsed as a result of a nearby gas explosion. The Stratosphere tower also suffered heavy damage, with all windows in the building shattering within seconds, with the tower's radio mast breaking off as well, and much of the Lower Stratosphere complex being completely leveled. Small, hairline fractures were reported across the entire tower support, some of which inevitably grew larger with time, and nearly toppled the structure for good. The tremor itself was felt strongly in Carson City, and Reno, while moderate to weak tremors were felt as far away as Los Angeles, Phoenix, Santa Fe, Salt Lake City, and even in places such as Denver, Colorado Springs, and the Cheyenne Mountain Complex (though the tremors were completely negated by the shock absorption springs beneath the complex).

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