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No damage reported in latest California earthquake swarm

October 1, 2009 |  7:54 am

Earthquake Index Map

A swarm of more than 30 earthquakes hit Inyo County this morning, including a 5.1 temblor, but caused no damage or injuries.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there have been more than 30 temblors centered about seven miles from the tiny town of Keeler, 11 miles from Lone Pine and 148 miles from Las Vegas. While most temblors in the quake swarm were tiny, there were several 3.5 aftershocks to the 5.1 main quake.

If other quake swarms offer a clue, there could be many more quakes in the area before this swarm is over.

Quake swarms have occurred before around California, notably in the Mammoth Lakes area and around the Salton Sea.

A recent swarm near the Salton Sea caused 200 temblors. Scientists have noticed that the quake swarms there appear to have a pattern, moving southeast as the days progress. But experts said they still don't know a central question: Can the quakes trigger larger -- and potentially more destructive -- quakes.

--Shelby Grad

Map: USGS

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