6.5 earthquake in western Nevada felt at Tahoe; Forces closure of Highway 95

U.S. Geological Service earthquake shake map.

A 6.4-magnitude earthquake Friday morning that rattled western Nevada near Tonopah and was felt all the way to Lake Tahoe, has forced a highway closure.

The Nevada Department of Transportation announced it has closed U.S. Highway 95 through 5 p.m. Friday to “shave minor pavement damage to a half-mile section,” caused by the temblor.

(Update: NDOT reopened the highway at about 3:30 p.m.)

The U.S. Geological Service reported the earthquake at 4:03 a.m. and said it was about 35 miles outside Tonopah, just east of the Sierra and about 4 hours southeast of Tahoe.

Some South Shore residents reported feeling the shake go on for several seconds before it ended.

The initial quake struck about 4.7 miles deep according to the USGS, and at least six sizable aftershocks followed, of 4.5 magnitude or above.

People tweeted they felt the shake all the way to Salt Lake City, Utah and into California’s central valley.

The first four aftershocks were nine minutes apart. The last of about 30 aftershocks was recorded at just after 6 a.m. and was 4.2 in magnitude.

NDOT said the road is closed between the U.S. Route 6 junction and U.S. Highway 360, with traffic being detoured while maintenance crews perform emergency repairs and inspect for further damage

“Most of the cracked areas have a minor lift that, as a temporary fix, will be shaved to minimize roadway surface bumps until a full repair can be scheduled in the future,” said a press release.

The temporary closure is expected to remain in place until 5 p.m. and motorists should avoid the area, if possible. 

For the latest state highway conditions, visit or call 511 before driving.

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