An earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale struck Nevada, the largest to hit the US state since 1954 which was also felt in California and Utah, according to the authorities.

On Friday, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said that the earthquake struck with the epicenter at a depth of 7.6 km, was 56 km west of the town of Tonopah.

First recorded as 6.4, the USGS later raised it to a 6.5 earthquake, which has had numerous aftershocks including at least one above magnitude 5.0.

“As the third most seismic state in the nation, we kind of had a streak of not having big earthquakes for 66 years,” Graham Kent, director of the Nevada Seismological Laboratory, was quoted as saying by CNN.

“This area is an active seismic region,” noted the Nevada Seismological Laboratory at the University of Nevada, Reno in a statement.

“About two dozen earthquakes in the magnitude 5 range have occurred within 65 miles (about 104 km) of this event over the past 50 years, mostly to the west and south,” the statement added.

Within the first hour following the earthquake, more than 8,000 people reported feeling it.

No casualties or damages have been reported yet.

The USGS warned that the area will continue to experience more earthquakes than usual.

According to the forecast, over the next week there is a 4 per cent chance of one or more aftershocks that are larger than magnitude 6.5.

It is likely that there will be smaller earthquakes over the next week, the forecast added.

In April, a 6.5-magnitude earthquake hit the western US state of Idaho with no immediate reports of damage or fatalities.

Tremor was felt across the region, including Washington state, Utah, Nevada and Canada.

On March 19, an earthquake measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale jolted the US state of Utah.