6.0-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Nevada, No Serious Injuries

A strong earthquake shook rural northeastern Nevada Thursday, damaging a town's historic district but sparing residents from any serious injuries.

The magnitude of the quake, initially estimated at 6.3, was later revised to 6.0 by the U.S. Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo.

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The quake, which struck at 6:16 a.m., was centered in a sparsely populated area 11 miles southeast of Wells near the Nevada-Utah line.

It was felt across much of the West, from northern Idaho and Utah to Southern California, officials said. At least five less severe aftershocks were reported.

"Definitely a lot of people felt this, and if they were sleeping, they were awoken," said USGS geophysicist Carrieann Bedwell.

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The most serious damage was reported in Wells' largely unoccupied historic district, Elko County Undersheriff Rocky Gonzalez said.

Brick facades tumbled off several buildings, signs fell and windows broke, and some vehicles parked on the street were damaged by falling debris, KELK Radio in Elko reported.

Dan Burns, spokesman with the Nevada Division of Emergency Management, said transportation and safety personnel were inspecting roads, bridges and dams in the area for structural damage.

Burns said at least two buildings in historic area had partially collapsed, and two main water lines had ruptured.

A Flying J Truck Stop was evacuated because of a propane leak, Gonzalez said, but no fires broke out. The leak was contained by midmorning.

Union Pacific Rail Road suspended traffic so its tracks could be inspected. Service later resumed, a spokeswoman said.

In Wendover, Utah, on the Nevada-Utah line, Tammy Wadsworth was ironing clothes when the quake hit.

"I kept thinking, 'When is it going to quit?' A couple pictures fell off the walls," she said. "One of my grandkids ran outside. They didn't know what else to do. It scared them."

Tony Lowry, an assistant professor of geophysics at Utah State University, said the size of the quake and its location was unusual.

"In that part of Nevada, I don't think we've seen any like that in the last 150 years or so," Lowry said. "It's not one of the places we would've looked or expected."