SAN FRANCISCO — According to the US Geological Survey, an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.0 rocked the California-Nevada border Thursday afternoon, with many reported feeling the shaking hundreds of miles away.
There were no reports of significant damage or injuries at the time.
At 3:49 p.m., an earthquake hit around 250 miles (402 kilometres) east of San Francisco and south of Lake Tahoe. It struck 4 miles (6.5 kilometres) west-southwest of Walker, a small California community of less than 900 people. Hundreds of aftershocks followed, including at least a half-dozen of magnitude 4.0 or larger, according to the USGS.
The earth began to shake violently, and then everything began to fall,” said Carolina Estrada, manager of the Walker Coffee Company. Syrup bottles shattered, plates shattered, and the shop’s ceiling caved in a little.
She stated the shaking lasted 30 seconds or longer.
The California Highway Patrol stated that rocks impacted cars, but no one was hurt.
Authorities reported rockslides closed approximately 40 miles (64 kilometres) of the highway, which runs across the northern Sierra Nevada. According to the California Department of Transportation, portions of the highway were subsequently reopened, although personnel remained on the scene in case of aftershocks.
Reno City Hall was evacuated in Nevada, according to Mayor Hillary Schieve of the Reno Gazette Journal. Schieve remarked, “It shook fairly nicely.”
The earthquake, which had a depth of 6 miles, was felt all around Lake Tahoe and as far south as Fresno, California (9.8 km). It was felt all the way from Las Vegas.
Near the Antelope Valley fault, the epicentre was located. The tremor was the most powerful in the area since a magnitude 6.1 earthquake hit in 1994.
“People in the vicinity could expect aftershocks for days following an earthquake of this magnitude,” said Jason Ballman of the University of Southern California’s Southern California Earthquake Center.
Ballman warned that because much of the shaking was felt in remote places, reports of damage or injuries could not be available for days.
Two earthquakes struck in 25 seconds, although they were 100 miles (161 kilometres) apart, according to preliminary assessments. However, after reviewing the tremors, the USGS deleted the report of a magnitude 4.8 quake near Farmington, about five miles (8 kilometres) southeast of Stockton.
According to Austin Elliott, a USGS geologist, the uncertainty stemmed from the remote location’s lack of seismic instrumentation.
He explained, “The system underestimated the initial size of the event and predicted a position that was somewhat off from the real location.”
Because the seismic waves arrived at an unexpected moment, other stations mistook them for a different quake as they travelled across the state “Elliott said.
Earthquakes are also prevalent along this fault, according to Elliott. He mentioned a magnitude 5.8 earthquake that shook the hamlet of Lone Pine in the Eastern Sierra last month, sending rocks tumbling down Mt. Whitney.