Nevada authorities investigate what may be first death related to California earthquakes

N'dea Yancey-Bragg

Authorities in Nevada are investigating a man's death in what may be the first fatality related to one of two earthquakes that shook Southern California last week.

Nye County Sheriff's deputies found the body of a 56-year-old man pinned beneath a vehicle Tuesday in Pahrump, Nevada, Sgt. Adam Tippetts said in a video news release. The man, whose identity was being withheld pending notification of his family, was last seen alive at a local gas station the day before a 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit near Ridgecrest, California.

"The vehicle that the male was pinned under had been jacked up safely, and based on the positioning of the body and the tools found at the scene, the male appeared to be working on the vehicle at the time of his death," Tippetts said. "Based on preliminary timing and circumstances at the scene, the Nye County Sheriff's investigation reveals that this death may be the result of the vehicle falling off the jacks on July Fourth during the earthquake."

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The day after the initial earthquake, a 7.1 magnitude quake shook the same region. The quakes were the strongest to hit California in two decades and could be felt in cities including Phoenix, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, and Las Vegas.

Initially, no fatalities or serious injuries were reported, but the quakes caused road damage and a number of power outages and fires.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Nevada authorities investigate what may be first death related to California earthquakes