California: Magnitude 4.8 Earthquake Rocks Big Pine Area, Aftershocks Reported

A moderate earthquake measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale rocked several areas near Big Pine, California, confirms the U.S. Geological Survey. The USGS had initially rated the Earthquake a massive 5.3 on the Richter scale but has since then clarified that it was just a 4.8 magnitude event.

According to reports from ABC 7 News, the epicenter of the quake was near Wilkerson, California, in Inyo County. The earthquake was registered at around 3:05 p.m., local time. Preliminary data says that the earthquake was centered about 6 miles northwest of Big Pine, 63 miles northeast of Three Rivers. It was a “shallow earthquake” that struck just 9.8 miles deep, United States Geological Survey (USGS) officials confirm. The map of the affected area is embedded below.

Just over 20 minutes after the initial earthquake, an aftershock was felt in the same area. This earthquake was slightly smaller, registering 4.3 on the Richter scale. There could be several more aftershocks in the hours to come, USGS officials say.

Meanwhile, it is too early to confirm whether any damage was caused to structures by these two earthquakes. We would need to wait for reports coming from various other affected areas before we make an assessment of the possible damages.

The ABC News Quake Cam did manage to capture the exact moment the earthquake hit. We have embedded the video below.

According to the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department in Bishop, no reports of damages have come through to them. After the earthquake struck, people took to social media networks to talk about it. We have embedded a few tweets below.

Meanwhile, people who experienced the earthquake said it was one of the biggest to hit the area in recent times. However, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, a man identified as Avo Nersasian said the earthquake was big enough to be felt – but not too major. A server at a local restaurant, County Kitchen, he told the newspaper;

“We definitely felt it. It wasn’t too major. After it started to shake we had some containers fall off of shelves.”

According to the report, Nersesian who hails from Los Angeles said he has experienced bigger earthquakes. He however went on to add that many of his customers said the 4.8 magnitude quake was one of the biggest they felt in the area.

“Tuesday’s earthquake doesn’t even compare to the Northridge Earthquake. One of my customers came in; he’s been here for 45 years and said it’s one of the biggest he’s ever felt,” he added.

According to USGS geologist Rafael Abreu, who works at theUSGS Earthquake Information Center in Colorado, the quake was “high up there, even for California standards”.

“In terms of depth, it’s close enough to the surface it’s going to generate aftershocks.”

He confirmed that there were at least six aftershocks – the biggest one measuring 4.3 within an hour after the earthquake. No reports of any significant damage to structures or businesses have been reported so far.

Were you affected by the earthquake that hit Pine Rock on Tuesday?

[Image By Gregor Ronald –, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons]