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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Earthquake USA

Strong Earthquake Strikes Central California - The New York Times

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The authorities said that no injuries had been reported, but that campgrounds near Mount Whitney had been evacuated after a rockslide in the area.

Credit...United States Geological Survey

A strong earthquake struck Central California on Wednesday, causing store shelves to fall and setting off a rockslide near Mount Whitney, where campgrounds were evacuated, according to the local authorities.

The United States Geological Survey reported that the quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 5.8, was centered near Lone Pine, Calif., southeast of Fresno, between Sequoia National Park and Death Valley National Park.

The quake was followed by at least 10 smaller earthquakes in the area, according to the Geological Survey.

People reported feeling the ground shake as far away as San Francisco, about 350 miles northwest of Lone Pine, and in Las Vegas, about 230 miles to the east, where it felt like a “rolling sensation,” according to the Twitter account of Clark County, Nev.

“If we didn’t need to be reminded, Mother Nature made sure we were reminded of her fury,” Gov. Gavin Newsom of California said.

He noted that the quake had occurred nearly a year after a 7.1-magnitude earthquake rattled Southern California, near Ridgecrest, causing fires, power outages and the evacuation of rides at Disneyland and of movie theaters in Los Angeles.

While far smaller than that quake, the temblor on Wednesday was “enough to remind all of us of our responsibilities as Californians, our vulnerabilities as Californians as it relates to the issue of earthquakes,” Mr. Newsom said.

He urged residents to download the MyShake app, which alerts people to seismic activity in their area.

The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office said that no injuries were reported, but added that the Whitney Portal area near Mount Whitney was closed and campgrounds there were being evacuated because of a rockslide south of the main parking lot.

The Sheriff’s Office said it was not clear whether the main Mount Whitney trail had been affected. The agency said it was also investigating a report of a rockslide on Whitney Portal Road and of debris on Horseshoe Meadow Road.

“It was really bad,” said Kishori Bhakta, a manager at the Lone Pine Budget Inn. She said she was in the kitchen and ran outside when the earthquake started: “Our car was moving, too, even though it was parked. We were scared, like, What’s going on?”

Ms. Bhakta said the quake knocked items from bathroom cabinets and caused containers to fall in a storage room.

Several other businesses in Lone Pine reported minor damage, with items falling from store shelves and ceiling panels coming loose.

“It was pretty rocky,” said a woman who answered the phone at Lone Pine Market, adding that she was busy cleaning up.

In Big Pine, Calif., 40 miles north of Lone Pine, the quake shook the ground but was less intense, said Candee Miller, the cashier at Hi-Country Market and Hardware. Ms. Miller said that she was working behind the counter when the quake began and that it lasted for about 15 seconds.

“It just felt like things were rocking a little bit,” she said. “Everybody just kept going on. Everything stayed in place, surprisingly.”

Lucy Jones, a seismologist, said there had been a 4.6-magnitude quake in the Lone Pine area two nights ago.

“The M4.6 was a foreshock to this event,” she wrote on Twitter. “We don’t know if an even bigger quake could be coming. Like EVERY quake, there is a 5% chance of something bigger.”

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