Christopher Rosacker
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May 23, 2013
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Moderate earthquake, aftershocks shake Nevada County

An earthquake near Greenville, around 30 miles north of Grass Valley, did not injure anyone but did cause moderate damage, including to a water tank that supplies hundreds of homes with drinking water, local authorities said Friday.

The quake, felt in Nevada County, registered as a magnitude 5.7 quake, according United States Geologic Survey. However initial measurement of the California Earthquake Data Center gauged the rumble as a magnitude 5.9 event. Both agencies agree the temblor struck at 8:47 p.m. and was centered six miles west northwest of Greenville.

“Heard trees cracking here at Scott’s Flat,” read a comment on The Union’s Facebook page by someone using the name Robin Moffat Painter.

“That was the biggest quake I felt since moving to Grass Valley (East Lime Kiln Road) from Campbell near the Loma Prietta quake. 5.7,” reads another comment to The Union under the name Marilyn Webb . “My house shook big time.”

Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood said the quake sent items tumbling from grocery store shelves and downed chimneys when it hit at 8:47 p.m. Thursday.

KCRA-TV in Sacramento reports that the quake was felt in downtown Sacramento, about 145 miles south of the epicenter. The U.S. Geological Survey’s National Earthquake Center said was felt as far away as San Francisco and in two other states. It was followed by multiple aftershocks, including a magnitude 4.9 quake that struck early Friday morning.

About 300 people were affected by the damaged water system, Hagwood said.

“Without question, it’s the strongest quake I’ve ever felt here. It was very unsettling and it lasted long enough to create a measure of anxiety,” Hagwood said. “The supermarkets and stores had a lot of things come off the shelves.”

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

Susan Shephard and her husband Alan Shephard, who run the Quail Lodge at Lake Almanor near Greenville very close to the epicenter, said they were watching “The Hunger Games” on TV when the whole building started shaking.

“All of a sudden things started falling off the shelves, mirrors fell off the wall, vases fell down to the floor, everything started crashing,” Shephard told the Redding Record-Searchlight. “It felt like the end of our world.”

The Susanville Fire Department said it had received no reports of damage, and a Plumas County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher said calls were flooding into its office but no reports of damage.

Thousands of people reported feeling the quake, as far away as the San Francisco Bay area and across the borders into Oregon and Nevada, according to the USGS website.

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

People in Yuba and Sutter Counties, south of Plumas, said they felt a rolling quake, according to the Marysville Appeal-Democrat.

“People in the area felt a strong jolt, but it was not enough to generate serious damage, based on early field reports,” said Rafael Abreu, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Earthquake Center in Golden, Colo.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report. To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email crosacker@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4236.


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The Union Updated May 24, 2013 01:17PM Published May 25, 2013 09:14AM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.