On Wednesday, December 28, two magnitude 5.7 earthquakes struck southwest of Hawthorne, Nevada, along the California-Nevada border. The first occurred at 12:22 PST. Responses on the USGS website indicate the quakes were felt in Fresno, South Lake Tahoe, Merced, and other communities across California’s Central Valley and in the Sierras.

According to the USGS, the first earthquake’s epicenter was 70 miles from Carson City, Nevada and about 16 miles southwest of Hawthorne, population around 3,300.

A second magnitude 5.7 quake hit the same area as did a third, 5.5 magnitude earthquake. More than 100 aftershocks included those between magnitude 2.8 and 4, after 4:00am.

Nevada earthquakes have expansive reach

Responses on the USGS’s “Did You Feel It?” website indicate people felt the earthquakes in Reno, Nevada, 163 kilometers from the epicenter, and Sacramento, California, about 238 kilometers away. There were no injuries or any damage reports, according to the California Office of Emergency Services.

A region with a history of earthquakes

The area around the Hawthorne, Nevada earthquake has a long history of seismic activity. There have been eight magnitude 3.0 or higher tremors nearby in the 10 days preceding the ones today on the California-Nevada Border. There was also a magnitude 6.5 earthquake offshore of Eureka, California, on December 6. A magnitude 4.1 earthquake also occurred on December 28, nine miles from Morongo Valley, California, in San Bernardino County.

This type of seismic activity here is not uncommon. Seismologist Lucy Jones said on her Twitter account these could have been foreshocks, but reported it was becoming less likely there would be a bigger earthquake. A swarm of earthquakes struck Mammoth Lakes over a few days in 1980.

Aside from the shaking, the only effects of the earthquakes on Wednesday seemed to be rattled nerves.

Many people have taken to reporting the aftershocks online. The two quakes on the California-Nevada border were mainly in rural areas.

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