Magnitude-4.8 Earthquake Strikes in Eastern Sierra, Is Followed by 4.3 Temblor

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An earthquake struck near Big Pine on Feb. 16, 2016. (Credit: USGS)

A magnitude-4.8 earthquake struck Tuesday afternoon near the Eastern Sierra town of Big Pine, and was followed shortly afterward by a magnitude-4.3 quake.

The first quake struck about 6 miles west-northwest of Big Pine at 3:04 p.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake was initially reported as magnitude 5.3 but was then downgraded. It struck at a depth of 9.8 miles, USGS said.

Then, at 3:27 p.m., another quake struck in nearly the same location. That one was initially reported as magnitude-4.8 and then downgraded to 4.3.

Residents in the sparsely populated area between Bishop and Big Pine reported the shaking as “strong,” while in the Mammoth Lakes area it was described as “light.”

The epicenter is more than an hour’s drive from the Mammoth Mountain resort, but Lauren Burke, a spokeswoman for the mountain, said the temblor was felt there. Burke said she felt several aftershocks at the main lodge.

After the second quake, the Bishop Police Department said on Facebook that there had been six temblors in 40 minutes. On KTLA’s Facebook page, multiple viewers reported feeling the quakes in Bishop.

At least two other aftershocks — magnitude 2.8 and 2.9 — struck in the same area around the same time.