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Latest California earthquake affects different part of state

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By The Los Angeles Times
Saturday, May 25, 2013, 8:42 p.m.

A magnitude 5.7 temblor on Thursday night was the largest earthquake to shake California since 2008 and has generated curiosity from seismologists.

The temblor occurred in a rugged section of Northern California that has not been studied as thoroughly as Southern California and the Bay Area and has less monitoring equipment. Experts said they were surprised the quake was felt over such a large area, and they plan to go to the region to investigate.

The quake struck about 8:47 p.m., about 150 miles northeast of Sacramento; its epicenter was about 27 miles southwest of the town of Susanville.

The last quake of similar magnitude, recorded at 5.5, struck Chino Hills in San Bernardino County in July 2008, said David Schwartz, an earthquake geologist for the Northern California U.S. Geological Survey division in Menlo Park. It caused little damage, but it was the most sizable quake to hit a metropolitan part of California since the much larger and destructive 1994 Northridge quake.

Thursday's quake did occur in a zone with known active faults, Schwartz said, including a series of faults that extend through the northern end of Lake Tahoe all the way to Oregon. But 5.7 is the strongest magnitude recorded in the area.

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