4.1 magnitude earthquake rocks the valley

A 4.1 magnitude earthquake rocked the valley near Black Canyon City on late Sunday night.

- A 4.1 magnitude earthquake rocked the valley near Black Canyon City on late Sunday night. 

The United States Geological Survey tells Fox 10 that three small earthquakes hit the area of Black Canyon City beginning at around 9:30 p.m. on Sunday night. The largest of the three, a 4.1 magnitude earthquake, hit just northeast of Black Canyon City at 11:30 p.m., and was likely an aftershock of an earlier earthquake, according to the National Weather Service.

The first earthquake that hit the area was 3.2 magnitude, followed by a 4.0 about five kilometers northeast of Black Canyon City, a rural mountain community about 45 miles north of Phoenix.

The three quakes were a fairly routine release of stress underground, said David Brumbaugh, a Northern Arizona University geophysics professor and the Arizona Earthquake Center's director. 

Power outages rocked the valley, however, APS now says they have no reason to believe the outages were a result of the earthquakes.

All power was restored as of 1:43 a.m. on Monday morning.

The Arizona Department of Transportation says no bridges or tunnels were affected by the earthquakes.
 

WHERE DO MOST ARIZONA EARTHQUAKES OCCUR?
 
Look north, in a region known as the Colorado Plateau, including the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff and high country along the Mogollon Rim.
 
Another part of the state that frequently feels seismic activity is southeastern Arizona, though many of the quakes there are actually centered on the other side of the New Mexico line. 
 
On the other hand, earthquake activity as far south in the transition zone between the Colorado Plateau and the valley-and-mountain areas that include Phoenix, are fairly rare, Brumbaugh said.
 
The USGS lists the largest earthquake in Arizona as a magnitude 5.6 on the Arizona-Utah border on July 21, 1959. 
 
IS THE PHOENIX AREA PRONE TO EARTHQUAKES?
 
Not really, though quakes elsewhere are sometimes felt in the metro area.
 
The USGS website recorded scores of responses from people in Phoenix suburbs who reported feeling at least one of Sunday's quakes.
 
Conway said it's not surprising that Phoenix-area residents would feel earthquakes centered elsewhere in central Arizona. However, there aren't any known faults directly under Phoenix, Conway said. 
 
"There isn't a lot of hazard in the Phoenix area from a local event," Conway said.
 
WHAT HAS THE REACTION BEEN LIKE IN ARIZONA?  
 
While some residents took to social media to make light of the light shaking, others said they were scared. 
 
"It did worry me. It was quite a shake," said Tami Barto, a Black Canyon City service station manager who said her dogs were rattled by the quakes.
 
Social media posts included photos of knocked over lawn chairs, garbage cans and even a cactus with the phrase "We will rebuild." 
 
Others lamented sleeping through the quakes.
 
Eladio Albornoz Jr. of Mesa said he's been through much stronger earthquakes in his native Venezuela, so at first he thought the shaking he felt while on his couch was someone playing a joke on him. 
 
"I sat down again and I felt another move. So I was like `whoa this is not normal' and then I read Twitter and everything and found out that it was a quake," he said.
 
Shortly after he posted to Facebook, "This little earthquake made me think my house was haunted."
 
IS ARIZONA PREPARING FOR A MAJOR QUAKE?
 
Yes, in several ways.
 
The state Department of Emergency and Military Affairs on Wednesday hosts a statewide exercise to practice responding to a magnitude 7.0 earthquake.
 
Conway said Sunday night's shaking in the Phoenix area will likely be noted during preparedness training in schools and other places.
 
That training urges people to drop down, find overhead cover such as a table and hold on.
 
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Associated Press writers Alina Hartounian and Bob Seavey contributed to this report.
 

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