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Series of quakes shake area near geothermal field in Northern California

Series of quakes shake area near geothermal field in Northern California
A series of earthquakes struck near the Geysers geothermal field Wednesday evening. (USGS)

A magnitude 4.2 earthquake struck about 3 miles northwest of the Geysers geothermal field Wednesday evening and was followed by a series of aftershocks, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quakes were reported between 7:58 and 9:04 p.m., according to the USGS. The first was followed by several aftershocks with magnitudes of 4.0, 2.7, 2.7, 2.5 and 2.6.

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The first earthquake was felt from Lakeport down to Sonoma and San Francisco, and even as far south as Santa Cruz, according to the USGS. The strongest shaking — Intensity Level 5 — was reported in Geyserville, just south of the epicenter.

Most other areas surrounding the quake felt "weak" shaking, classified as Intensity Level 3. As of 9:50 p.m., the USGS had recorded 200 responses from web users reporting what they felt.

The Geysers region, about 90 miles north of San Francisco, is one of the most seismically active regions in the United States.

Geothermal plants operate as close as 2 miles from the mountain community of Anderson Springs, near the epicenter of the quakes. The USGS says the work associated with the withdrawal of steam for producing electric power can trigger small quakes.

The series of earthquakes come a day after a magnitude 4.5 quake shook a large portion of Southern California and was felt from San Diego to Santa Clarita.

Tuesday's earthquake struck at 4:49 a.m. about seven miles north of Cabazon and 85 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. The epicenter was close to the San Gorgonio Pass, through which Interstate 10 connects Palm Springs and San Bernardino.

Twitter: @AleneTchek

UPDATES:

10:05 p.m.: This post was updated with additional information about what people felt.

This post was originally published at 9:30 p.m.

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