Earthquakes, in Tucson? True, no one alive in Tucson today has ever felt an earthquake of any significance within the City. However, seismic activity occurs on a regular basis throughout the State of Arizona – generally, it goes unfelt. That said there have been recorded incidents of large earthquakes near Tucson that would have a great affect if a similar event occurred today.

So while they may be rare, being aware of the hazards of earthquakes and how to prepare for one is still important! Two recorded examples of earthquakes in or around Tucson are:

In 1830, the earliest and largest earthquake affecting Arizona to ever be recorded occurred in an area estimated around San Pedro, AZ which is about 25 miles west of Tucson. It is estimated that this earthquake would have caused massive damage to structures in Tucson.

In 1887, the Sonoran earthquake caused significant destruction in Southern Arizona towns, including Tucson and was one of the largest earthquakes in North American history. The earthquake was said to have been felt from Guaymas, Mexico to Albuquerque, New Mexico and was estimated as an intensity of 7.2. In Tucson, water in tanks spilled over, buildings cracked, chimneys toppled, and railroad cars were set in to motion. With the dramatic increase in development, the damage in Tucson would be much greater if a similar event occurred today.

Check out this video from FEMA on earthquake preparedness and then head on over to for more Earthquake readiness tips.