Small Earthquake Strikes Central California
Map of earthquake location today (March 1, 2013) in Central California.
Credit: USGS.

An earthquake of preliminary magnitude 4.2 struck today in central California, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The temblor's epicenter was 34 miles (54 km) east of Searles Valley, Calif., and 282 miles (454 km) southeast of Carson City, Nev. It originated 0.2 miles (0.3 km) deep and struck at 1:55 p.m. local time (2155 UTC), the USGS reports.

There was some weak shaking felt in the immediate area, according to the USGS, and there were no immediate reports of damage.

Earthquakes of this size typically do not cause significant harm, but the damage caused by any single event depends on the quake's depth, proximity to populated areas, building standards in the region, as well as the type of earthquake. The USGS frequently updates the magnitude of an event after more data is analyzed.

An earthquake's magnitude is a measure of the energy released at the source. It is just one predictor of the shaking that may ensue, which is affected by local and regional geology. Scientists know in a general sense what causes Earthquakes but are unable to predict specific quakes.

This article will be updated if significant additional information becomes available. Find more earthquake news here.