Historic Earthquakes

Socorro area, New Mexico
1906 July 12 UTC
Intensity VII

About 110 km south of Albuquerque at Socorro, an earthquake threw down several chimneys, knocked plaster from the walls of many adobe houses and the courthouse, and hurled shelf goods, book cases, and dishes to the floor. The entire business block, extending from the plaza along the north side of Manzanares Avenue, was damaged heavily. A two-story brick house, one of the buildings most severely damaged, was abandoned because its walls were cracked badly and thrown out of plumb. Nearby, one of the walls of another cottage was damaged so severely that the occupants moved outside to a tent. Many other residences sustained damage to walls and furniture.

Many boulders rolled onto the branch railroad leading to Magdalena, west of Socorro, breaking one rail and many ties. Fissures formed in the ground near the Santa Fe depot in Socorro, and waves were seen on the ground surface. The earthquake shook residents of Carthage, Kelly, Magdalena, San Antonio, San Marcial, and other towns as far north as Albuquerque and as far south as Silver City (Grant County). Tremors were felt daily from July 2, 1906, well into 1907.

Abridged from Seismicity of the United States, 1568-1989 (Revised), by Carl W. Stover and Jerry L. Coffman, U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1527, United States Government Printing Office, Washington: 1993.