California Earthquake, Aftershocks Rattle Northern Parts of State

Friday, 24 May 2013 12:36 PM

By Ken Mandel

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An earthquake that struck Northern California and sent tremors to two other states claimed no lives Thursday, but damaged a water tank that supplies hundreds of homes with drinking water, according to local authorities.

More than a dozen aftershocks occurred after the 5.7-magnitude quake rattled a remotely populated area in the Sierras in Northern California at 8:47 p.m. local time. The U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Center said the temblor centered seven miles from Greenville, about 25 miles southwest of Susanville.

Vibrations were felt from as far away as San Francisco and Reno, Nevada. The aftershocks ranged from 2.6 to 4.9 in magnitude.

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"Without question, it's the strongest quake I've ever felt here,” Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood told the Associated Press. “It was very unsettling and it lasted long enough to create a measure of anxiety. The supermarkets and stores had a lot of things come off the shelves."

The USGS said the quake was strong enough to significantly damage poorly designed buildings, though the damage was relatively benign. Hagwood said the damaged water system affected about 300 people.

Pacific Gas & Electric said about 660 customers lost power on the southwestern edge of Lake Almanor at about 9:39 p.m. PT Thursday.

While Calfornians breathed a sigh of relief, people in Russia were also dealing with a powerful earthquake Friday that hit the country’s Far East region, about 4,400 miles east of Moscow. The epicenter was in the Sea of Okhotsk, east of the Russian coast and north of Japan, Marina Kolomiyets, spokeswoman for Obninsk's seismic station of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told The Associated Press.

Kolomiyets said the quake registered 8.0 on the Richter scale, while the USGS reported it as 8.2. The Kuril-Kamchatka arc epicenter is one of the world’s most seismically active regions.

The quake prompted emergency tsunami warnings from Far East agencies for Sakhalin and the Kuril islands, but they were cancelled soon afterward.

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Residents of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky on the Kamchatka peninsula in the Okhotsk Sea felt tremors for about five minutes, according to Russian media outlets.

Back in the U.S., KCRA-TV in Sacramento reported that the Plumas County temblor was felt in Sacramento, about 145 miles south of the epicenter.

Related links:

Series of Earthquakes Rattle California

Will Canary Islands El Hierro Eruption Spark Tsunami, Destroy US East Coast?

Californians Learn to Live With Earthquake Fears

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