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9:24 AM Sun, Nov. 18th

Chino Valley residents report feeling earthquakes

Numerous people in the Chino Valley area reported feeling what they thought was an earthquake about 2:30 p.m. Monday and 8:45 a.m. Tuesday.

Arizona Earthquake Information Network Director David Brumbaugh said the network's sensors didn't detect any earthquakes in that area, so if they occurred they probably were smaller than a magnitude of 2.5. And it would be hard for people to feel one smaller than a 2.0 magnitude, he added.

The closest measuring devices are near Williams and Kingman, he said.

The network did detect about a 2.2 magnitude earthquake at 11:22 a.m. Monday near Camp Verde, and a 2.4 magnitude earthquake east of Flagstaff at 8:40 a.m. Tuesday, Brumbaugh said. Earthquakes of that size occur several times a month in Arizona.

At least a half-dozen reports came in to the Chino Valley Police Department from people thinking they felt earthquakes Monday and Tuesday, Lt. Vince Schaan said. The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office dispatch center fielded about three calls Monday, spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn said.

Verde public service agencies also got calls about loud sounds like sonic booms Monday, D'Evelyn said.

Christa Agostino said she and her husband Tom heard a "boom" as they felt a jolt in their Chino Valley house during one of the two incidents.

"It's like a giant coming up to your house and bonking it with his hand," she explained of the sound.

They both believe it was an earthquake.

"I grew up in California, so I'm used to big earthquakes," Agostino said. "A little thing like that (in Chino Valley) was nothing."

She recalled the 1994 Northridge earthquake in LA that killed 57 people. The walls of her home cracked and a room above the garage slid.

"Our kitchen was two inches deep in glass," she said. "I was thrown out of bed into the closet door.

"I always thought (earthquakes) were fun until then."

They also recalled the October 2011 earthquake in the Chino Valley area that registered a 3.6 on the Richter scale.

"We went, 'Hey, wait a minute, we're not supposed to have this,'" Agostino related.

The Agostinos live about a mile from the Little Chino Fault off the northwest corner of Chino Valley.

Paula Smith also felt the Chino Valley earthquakes this week and she also grew up in California, to the north of Agostino in San Francisco.

A log fell out of their fireplace when the first jolt occurred about 2:30 p.m. Monday, Smith said. When she felt the house shake a second time and heard a boom sound about 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, she wanted to find out if it was an earthquake.

She especially re-called the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that struck during the World Series warm-up practice at Candlestick Park. It killed 63 people. A huge rock fireplace at her office collapsed.

"My husband was in a hot tub and the water came out of the hot tub like 12 inches," she added.

Although at least two faults (the Big Chino and Little Chino) are located in the Chino Valley and Paulden area, Brumbaugh said it's highly unlikely a damaging earthquake will occur there during our lifetimes.

"I wouldn't rush out and get any earthquake insurance," he said.

The largest quake in that region over the last 50 years was a 5.0-magnitude quake in the Chino Valley area on Feb. 4, 1976, Arizona Geological Survey scientist Phil Pearthree said.

Follow Joanna Dodder on Twitter @joannadodder.