Magnitude 5.3 quake hits Nevada, close to Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - A magnitude 5.3 earthquake struck Nevada on Friday close to the small town of Caliente, northeast of the tourist hub of Las Vegas, and was followed by a series of smaller aftershocks, the U.S. Geological Survey said. It said the epicenter of the initial quake, which was very shallow at a depth of only 2.5 miles(4 km), was 24 miles (39 km)from Caliente, a town of just over 1,000 people, close to the border with Utah. A dispatcher with the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department, near the epicenter, said the earthquake had been felt widely across the county, but that there were no immediate reports of damage. The quake, which was initially reported at a magnitude of 5.4 before being downgraded by the USGS to 5.3, could be felt as far away as Las Vegas, about 100 miles (160 km) to the southwest. The quake was followed less than 20 minutes later by a smaller 3.8 magnitude temblor, and then by three more aftershocks of magnitudes of 2.5 to 3.4. (Reporting by Sandra Maler in Washington and Cynthia Johnston in Las Vegas; Editing by Eric Beech and Sandra Maler)

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