Series of quakes hits Calif. eastern desert

January 15, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
A magnitude 4.4 earthquake followed by three smaller ones struck in California's eastern desert Friday morning, just a day after the same region was shaken by another series of temblors.The Inyo County Sheriff's Department said there were no reports of injury of damage from the quakes, which began at 12:23 a.m. with the 4.4 temblor that was centered near Coso Junction, about 75 miles northeast of Bakersfield.

The U.S. Geological Survey said that over the next two hours quakes with magnitudes of 3.5, 3.0, and 3.6 rumbled in the same area.

Another temblor with a preliminary magnitude of 3.4 was recorded shortly after 5:30 a.m.

Sheriff's dispatcher Steve Davis said the quake-hit zone is sparsely populated.

"There's really not a lot out there," he said. "Nobody has felt a thing so far."

On Thursday, the USGS reported that a 3.5 magnitude quake hit at 4:10 a.m. and was followed within 90 minutes by three others measuring 3.2, 3.2 and 3.4.

Those temblors were centered 6 miles southeast of Coso Junction in Inyo County and about 18 miles north of Ridgecrest in Kern County.

That area of the upper Mojave Desert has been hit by dozens of tiny earthquakes in the past two weeks but none have caused any problems.