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Moderate quake on San Andreas fault shakes central Calif.

By
Frances Burns

GREENFIELD, Calif., Jan. 20 (UPI) -- A moderate earthquake on California's San Andreas fault shook the central coastal area of the state early Tuesday.

The quake measured 4.4 on the Richter scale, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. It was centered about 150 miles south of Sacramento and 120 miles southeast of San Francisco.

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The San Andreas Fault, stretching across hundreds of miles in western California, is the boundary between two plates that are moving past each other. The fault was responsible for the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, which killed about 3,000 people in the city, and the 1989 Loma Prieta quake, which has been blamed for 64 deaths, most of them when a section of highway in Oakland collapsed.

Tuesday's quake appears to have caused little damage, although thousands of people may have felt it. It occurred in the mountains 17 miles east northeast of Greenfield, in an area where few people live.

Earthquakes measuring in the 4.0 to 4.9 range are considered moderate. While the shaking may be felt widely, there is generally little damage.

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