Magnitude 5.9 earthquake shakes up California-Nevada border, regionally largest ‘in almost two and a half decades’

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A magnitude 5.9 earthquake shook the California-Nevada border Thursday afternoon, with people reporting feeling a jolt many miles away, as far because the Bay Area, consistent with the U.S. Geological Survey. The earthquake, reported just south of Lake Tahoe, triggered a series of aftershocks with a minimum of one with a 4.6 magnitude, the USGS said. Regionally, “this would be the most important one in almost two and a half decades,” consistent with Graham Kent, director of the University of Nevada, Reno’s seismological lab. “It’s 5.9 and a few change — to the typical person, it’s a magnitude 6.0.”

Though originally reported as a minimum of two separate earthquakes, the false report came from an automatic systems error, said Seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones on Twitter. The USGS revised the report, removing one reported quake a couple of miles south of Stockton in central California. “An M~6 quake is typically felt for quite 100 miles so it’s not surprising it had been felt within the Central Valley,” Jones said. The shaking was felt in a minimum of two states, with quite 20,000 reports coming into the USGS website by 6 p.m. civil time.

North of the reported epicenter in Reno, the hall was evacuated after the earthquake, said Mayor Hillary Schieve. Sally Rosen, who owns a well-liked burger restaurant in Walker, near the epicenter, told the Associated Press her 2-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 that we didn’t know quite what it had been initially,” she told KGO-TV in San Francisco. “It kept going, and it had been pretty intense and scary, frankly. So we ran out of the house as fast as we could and ran to the restaurant because the primary thought was, ‘Oh my goodness, we’d like to shut off the gas.’” Cups and other items flew off the shelves, and oil splattered from the fryers, she said.

On Twitter, people posted videos of the aftermath on U.S. 395 through Lake Tahoe. The route was closed temporarily due to rock slides. A California Highway Patrol spokesperson told the Stockton Record, a part of the USA TODAY Network, that some cars were hit by rocks, but nobody was injured. The National Weather Service offices in Sacramento felt the earthquake for a minimum of a moment, they posted on Twitter. “Blinds moving. Light building motion/shaking movement.” Other Twitter users reported water in their pools or fountains and windows shaking.

“While there are not any preliminary reports of injury or injuries, this is often a rapidly evolving situation & more details will emerge within the coming hours.” California’s Office of Emergency Services said on Twitter. “We are working closely with local officials to make sure they need the resources and support to rapidly answer these earthquakes.” The earthquake Thursday afternoon pales as compared to the 7.1 earthquakes that occurred in Southern California in 2019. That earthquake, shaking Ridgecrest, was 15 times bigger and 63 times stronger than this one, consistent with the USGS.

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