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Jun 29, 2014 8:58 PM by Nathan O'Neal

Arizona 5.2 magnitude quake rare, sees 100s of small tremors each year

TUCSON - Seismologists are evaluating the 5.2 magnitude earthquake that shook parts of southeastern Arizona and western New Mexico on Saturday night.

The Arizona Geological Survey has dubbed the seismic incident as the "Duncan Earthquake." More than 2,200 reports were filed with the U.S. Geological Survey for having felt the shake, which originated near the Arizona-New Mexico border.

Arizona State Geologist Lee Allison told News 4 Tucson that a quake of this magnitude in that area is extremely rare - only occurring once every 50-100 years. Since the initial earthquake, Allison said at least 15 aftershocks have been recorded and more are expected in the coming days and weeks.

"We don't know of any active faults out there -- so this may help us have a better understanding of the geology out there," Allison said.

Allison and his team are analyzing the nature of the waveforms from seismographs placed across the state to record the shockwaves.

"We have lots of small earthquakes, hundreds of them per year but a magnitude five or larger is very rare," Allison said.

While no significant damage was reported, KVOA viewers sent in photos of cracked walls and crumbling ceilings - some physical evidence of a rare earthquake.

"If that had been in one of our major cities we would have seen a lot of damage that could have caused cracking or even collapse of poorly built structures so we were so lucky that it was in such a remote area," Allison said.

The U.S. Geological Survey is looking to collect as much data it can from Saturday's earthquake - which includes your personal experience, whether you felt it or not.

You can submit your story here.

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