earthquake.jpgThe U.S. Geological Survey is reporting a series of earthquakes have rattled a section of Monterey County and the surrounding region early this morning.

At 12:51 a.m., a tremor with a preliminary magnitude of 4.5 struck near Fremont Peak State Park, according to the USGS, and had a depth of 5.2 miles.

The epicenter was located 10 miles east-southeast of Prunedale and 45 miles south-southeast of San Jose, according to the USGS.

Within an hour of the first tremor, 11 aftershocks rolled across roughly the same area.

Most of the aftershocks had a preliminary magnitude between 1.2 and 2.9, but the largest of the smaller quakes struck at 1 a.m. and had a preliminary magnitude of 3.4, according to the USGS.

The most recent aftershock – one with a preliminary magnitude of 1.3 – shook the area at 1:38 a.m.

More than 2300 people in 170 ZIP codes have reported that they felt the quake, according to information collected by the USGS, with the strongest shaking felt around Salinas and San Juan Bautista and weak shaking reported as far away as Fairfax and Merced.

This is the second time since Friday that the greater Bay Area has experienced a temblor with a magnitude larger than 4.0. On Friday, an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.1 struck east of San Jose and could be felt throughout much of the Bay Area.

Patricia Decker, Bay City News

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