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Magnitude-4.8 Earthquake in Rural Nevada Felt in Las Vegas; Freeway Ramps Temporarily Closed

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A magnitude-4.8 earthquake that struck late Friday morning in Nevada near the Utah border was felt in Las Vegas, some 80 miles away, and several freeway ramps in the city were closed amid reports of damage.

The quake struck at 11:47 a.m. about 60 miles west-northwest of St. George, Utah, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The USGS gave the nearest town as Caliente, about 24 miles north-northeast of the epicenter, which was in a remote mountainous region about 100 miles driving distance from Las Vegas.

The quake hit at a depth of 2.6 miles. It was initially reported as a 5.4-magnitude temblor, but that was later changed to a 5.3, and then to a 4.8.

The USGS “Did You Feel It?” response map indicated “light” and “weak” shaking was felt in Las Vegas.

Multiple freeway ramps were closed in Las Vegas, according to the Nevada Department of Transportation.

The temblor caused the rubber encasing to separate on the bridge of a freeway interchange ramp from U.S. 95 southbound to the southbound Interstate 15. The ramp was shut down for inspection, along with two others.

“The joint damage was pre-existing. The tremblor (sic) simply dislodged the protective rubber encasing the bridge seam making it look much worse than it was in reality,” a Nevada Department of Transportation district engineer said in a news release. “However, we’re issuing an emergency contract to repair the seam. Meanwhile, the ramps remain structurally sound and safe for travel.”

The ramps reopened before 5 p.m. Friday and were slated to remain open throughout Memorial Day weekend.