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Cluster of small earthquakes hits California desert

The Associated Press

COSO JUNCTION, Calif. (July 28, 2001 9:51 a.m. EDT) - Scores of earthquakes - most of them tiny - have shaken this area of the Southern California high desert in the last 24 hours.

One quake early Saturday and two on Friday were at least magnitude 3.0, but the Inyo County Sheriff's Department said no injuries or damage were reported.

They were among hundreds of mostly small earthquakes detected over the last two weeks.

The area has a spider web of small faults and experiences similar swarms every two to three years, according to the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Coso Junction, about 150 miles northeast of Los Angeles, is a sparsely populated area with little more than a convenience store and a geothermal plant. It is flanked by the China Lake Naval Weapons Center and Sequoia National Forest.

One quake early Saturday measured 3.0 and was centered about three miles east of Coso Junction, according to Caltech. Tremors measuring 3.1 and 3.7 on Friday were centered about four miles east of the community.

-- Martin Thompson (, July 28, 2001

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