Damage from earthquakes closes site of historic Bodie ghost town

Bodie State Historic Park
Bodie State Historic Park is a California gold-mining ghost town, where visitors can walk down the deserted streets of a town that once had a population of nearly 10,000 people.
(Marc Martin / Los Angeles Times)

A series of moderate earthquakes rocked the California-Nevada border, causing little reported damage near the epicenter but leading to the closure of the well-known Eastern Sierra ghost town of Bodie.

The area around Hawthorne, Nev., recorded more than 200 quakes Wednesday, most of them relatively small. The swarm started with a pair of 5.7 temblors early Wednesday morning.

On social media, there were photos of some items falling off store shelves around Hawthorne, but officials said there were no reports of structural damage to buildings. 

Matthew Green, chief ranger for the Sierra District of California State Parks, told the San Jose Mercury News that Bodie suffered some damage and that the area would remained closed  so a full damage assessment could be completed.


“There’s some damage to a roof, broken glass windows, some interior damage and some brickwork. Mostly it’s bricks,” he told the paper.

Bodie State Historic Park posted a message on its website saying: “We are assessing any damage that may have occurred in the park and will reopen as soon as possible.”

Bodie, a popular tourist attraction, is about 83 miles from Hawthorne.

The Bodie Hills hug the California-Nevada line in Mono County -- thousands of acres of jagged volcanic summits, thick sagebrush, dry lakes and plunging canyons lined with aspens.


Light shaking was felt as far away as South Lake Tahoe, Fresno, Visalia and Merced.

The U.S. Geological Survey said most of the responses to its “Did You Feel It?” website came from the Central Valley and Sierra Nevada. But residents reported they felt the quakes as far west as San Francisco and as far south as Bakersfield.

Seismologist Lucy Jones said on Twitter that multiple quakes like Wednesday morning’s are not uncommon in the region. She noted that in 1980, Mammoth Lakes experienced several quakes in the magnitude 6 range in one day. That swarm of quakes, which lasted several days, became the subject of much research.


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