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Magnitude 4.6 Earthquake Rattles Barstow Area

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A magnitude 4.6 earthquake struck north of Barstow Friday evening, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake hit the Mojave Desert at about 7:03 p.m. with an epicenter just over 17 miles northeast of Barstow and a depth of roughly 2.4 miles, USGS said.

The quake felt like a “good jolt,” but there were no reports of damage or injuries, San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman Cynthia Bachman said in an email to the Associated Press.

USGS says a ShakeAlert was sent out about 7 seconds after the quake's origin time, which wasn't enough warning for Barstow residents but gave people in San Bernardino about 25 seconds to prepare.

People reported feeling the shaking as far as Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Ridgecrest, which has been rattled by a swarm of quakes following two major ones last summer.

Friday's temblor was centered just over 50 miles southwest of Ridgecrest, but famed seismologist Lucy Jones said it wasn't on the same fault. Instead, it ruptured about halfway between the fault involved in the Ridgecrest quakes and another one on which the 7.3 magnitude Landers earthquake occurred in 1992.

Jones added that there's no way to tell whether Friday's quake was a precursor to something larger.

"I spent many years looking at foreshocks to try to find something that made them different. Never found it," she wrote. "We will know if it's one of the 5% that become a foreshock if something bigger happens."

The earthquake was followed by a magnitude 2.9 aftershock in nearly the same spot, according to USGS.

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