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Monday December 4, 2000

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Moderate quakes rocks Sierra Nevada

By The Associated Press

TRUCKEE, Calif. - A series of moderate earthquakes and aftershocks jolted the Lake Tahoe region near the Nevada-California border early Saturday.

No major damage or injuries were reported, but the largest quake, a magnitude 4.8 according to U.S. Geological Survey estimates, was felt over a wide area.

It hit at 7:34 a.m. about 14 miles northwest of Truckee and was followed over the next hour by four smaller temblors, including one measuring 3.2. Three small quakes hit later in the day.

Eric Lamoureux, a spokesman for the California Office of Emergency Services, said the quakes occurred on a previously unknown fault.

"The state geologist doesn't expect a larger quake from this fault at this point," he said. "But it's a wakeup call to a lot of people. It's important to know that fault lines run up and down the Sierra and that these major quakes can happen anywhere."

Law enforcement authorities said Saturday's quakes caused little damage. A small bridge collapsed near Colfax and a house chimney toppled near Cisco Grove.

"It was a good quick jolt and I could hear the timber in the house creak," said Carl Brawley, who was visiting Truckee. "If you live in California, you have to learn to surf the earth."

Nevada County sheriff's Sgt. Ron Perea said deputies checked for damage after the quakes hit but found nothing significant. "It's just another day in paradise," he said.

The strongest quake woke up people in Reno, 30 miles to the east of Truckee, and in South Lake Tahoe, 35 miles to the south.