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Series of quakes take toll in Reno

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Associated Press / April 28, 2008

RENO - Dozens of minor earthquakes shook Reno yesterday as a series of temblors entered its third month and prompted some frazzled residents to leave their homes.

More than 150 aftershocks have been recorded on the western edge of northern Nevada's largest city after a magnitude-4.7 quake hit Friday night, the strongest quake in a sequence that began Feb. 28. There were no reports of injuries or widespread damage.

Scientists have urged residents to prepare for worse, saying the recent activity is unusual because the quakes started out small and continue to build in strength.

After being awakened as many as four times a night by quakes, retiree Sandra Petty decided to spend nights 10 miles away at the Sparks home of her daughter, Stefanie McCaffrey.

"The quakes have sent her emotions and nerves into a tailspin," McCaffrey said yesterday. "She was exhausted, and she couldn't relax or unwind. She just needed to get away so she could have a good night's sleep."

Keith Phillips said he's going to live somewhere else until the activity settles down. He lives about a block from the epicenter of Friday night's quake, which cracked walls in his house and pushed one of his garages off its foundation.

Among other things, scientists urged residents to stock up on water and food, to learn how to turn off water and gas, and to strap down bookshelves, televisions, and computers.

The strongest aftershock yesterday measured 3 and was recorded shortly before 11 a.m.

Three other quakes larger than magnitude 3 have struck areas scattered hundreds of miles apart across northern Nevada since Friday night's 4.7 quake in Reno.

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