Magnitude 53 earthquake strikes California close to Nevada border

A 5.3 magnitude earthquake has struck near Yosemite National Park, along the California-Nevada border.

Occurring at a depth of six miles (10km), the quake hit shortly after 7:30am on Saturday, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported.

Its epicenter was around 90 miles (144km) southeast of Lake Tahoe, just north of the sprawling Yosemite National Park. 

Yosemite draws upwards of four million visitors per year, but is currently closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The region had been hit by a number of quakes in recent days, with the strongest – a magnitude 4.1 tremor – striking around 50 miles further south a week ago. According to the USGS, more earthquakes are forecast to hit the region following Saturday’s tremor.

A 5.3-magnitude earthquake is considered ‘moderate’, and can cause damage to weak buildings and structures. Unlike the hundreds of smaller quakes recorded in California every month and felt only by seismic monitoring instruments, a quake of this magnitude is usually felt by anyone nearby.

The rural area hit by Saturday’s quake is sparsely populated, with the nearest town to the epicenter – Bodie – an abandoned mining settlement.

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