An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.9 rattled the California-Nevada border Thursday afternoon, with people reporting feeling the shaking hundreds of miles away, according to the US Geological Survey.
There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
The earthquake struck at 3.49pm local time in a region about 250 miles (402km) east of San Francisco and south of Lake Tahoe. Its epicenter was four miles (6.5km) west-southwest of Walker, California. It was followed by a dozen aftershocks, with at least one with a 4.6 magnitude, the USGS said.
Sally Rosen, who owns a popular burger restaurant in Walker, near the epicenter, said her two-year-old was napping in her arms in her home behind the restaurant when the earthquake hit.
“We felt the shaking of the building, and we didn’t know quite what it was at first,” she told KGO-TV in San Francisco. “It kept going, and it was pretty intense and scary, frankly. So we ran out of the house as fast as we could and ran to the restaurant because the first thought was, ‘Oh my goodness, we need to shut off the gas.’ ”
Cups and other items flew off the shelves, and oil splattered from the fryers, she said.
Communities all around Lake Tahoe and as far south as Fresno, California, felt the earthquake, which had a depth of sixth miles (9.8km).
US 395, a major route through the northern Sierra Nevada, was closed because of rock slides, the state department of transportation said. The closure stretched about 40 miles (64km) from near the tiny community of Willow Springs in Mono county north to Nevada border. “People in the area should expect aftershocks for days following an earthquake of this size,” said Jason Ballman with the Southern California Earthquake Center at the University of Southern California. “We’ve already seen a pretty vigorous aftershock sequence.”
Ballman cautioned that reports of damage or injury might not be available for days because a lot of the shaking was felt in remote areas.
“While there are no preliminary reports of damage or injuries, this is a rapidly evolving situation & more details will emerge in the coming hours.” California’s office of emergency services tweeted. “We are working closely with local officials to ensure they have the resources and support to rapidly respond to these earthquakes.”
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