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5.4 earthquake hits Southern California; felt in Los Angeles [Updated]

A 5.9 earthquake rocked Southern California this afternoon and was felt across a wide area.

According to U.S. Geological Survey, the quake hit at 4:53 p.m. near Borrego Springs, about 28 miles south of Palm Springs. It was followed by several small aftershocks.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, but some residents said the quake caused glass to break.

Its the latest in a string of powerful of quakes to hit Southern California in the last few months, ever since a 7.2 quake hit the Mexicali area on Easter Sunday.

[Updated at 5:07 p.m.: The USGS downgraded the quake to 5.4 magnitude. The Los Angeles Fire Department said it has not received reports of serious damage or injuries. Residents in Riverside County told The Times they felt a sharp jolt but have not witnessed major damage.

Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz said that he experienced strong jolts at police headquarters but that there was no initial report of serious damage.

“So far everything is OK,” Diaz said. “To me it felt like two separate events. The first felt like a foreshock;  the second one was stronger.”

“It was scary,” said Celina Vega of Borrego Springs. “I can hardly talk because I’m still shaking. “

She said the earthquake hit as she was getting ready to go to work at Kendall’s Cafe. “I screamed. Glasses fell at my house. We’re not used to earthquakes here in Borrego Springs. When we felt it, oh my gosh, scary!”]

[Updated at 5:26 p.m.: The quake swayed skyscrapers in downtown San Diego, but there were no reports of damage there.

A rockslide was reported on a road outside of Palm Springs neat the aerial tramway, accord to the Desert Sun. But someone at the tramway restaurant told The Times there was no major damage. Palm Springs Fire Chief Blake Goetz told The Times that there was a rock slide near the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, but no damage to the Tramway itself.

Mary Jane Laws, an assistant manager at Center Market Grocery Store in Borrego Springs, said that a lot of products fell of the store shelves – but there was no major damage.

“I’ve been here 30 years and it was bigger than any of us have experienced,” Laws said. “It shook up and down really hard. That was the big jolt, then back and forth. It feels like forever, but it was probably only 10 to 15 seconds.”

There weren’t many customers in the store when the quake hit, but Laws said, “The employees, they bolted. The cash registers are right by the door.”

The residents are accustomed to an occasional temblor, but Laws said, “It was a little bit more than we’re comfortable.” At least for the evening, it will give the sleepy town something to chat about in the off season. “This place is going to be just atwitter,” Laws said. “We’ll be in the coffee shop, talking about all kinds of things."]

-- Andrew Blankstein, Rong-Gong Lin II and Kimi Yoshino

Instrumental Intensity Image


Comments () | Archives (124)

Felt it all the way in Pasadena.

A slow roller out here in Yorba Linda...

Felt it pretty good in central San Diego -- my ten story office building swayed a few times.

South Pasadena: just heard it, 2 shakes, the first one just a couple of shakes and almost unnoticed, the second immediately after....lasted 6-7 sec, all pictures on walls shaking, light, computer, table...scary....grab my emergency 72 hrs bag from under the bed and cross fingers....

I just felt it while at work :D

a good couple of seconds here is Seal Beach

I felt it in Santa Monica. The building swayed for about 15 seconds, but there wasn't any intense shaking and nothing fell on the floor.

The big one is coming! Everybody run!

We felt it in Long Beach on the 2nd floor of our 4 story building. A few of us later mentioned it felt like we were dizzy for a min.
I hope there's no damage.

Nealy 15 mins afterwords, Im still watching the clipboards swing off and on as the aftershocks hit. What fun this is!! I guess I don't have to go to Magic Mountain this week.

That's just wrong.

Felt it strongly in San Diego. Stronger than the last one about a month ago.

It was felt here in Burbank CA, a little bit strong!

I blame Bush for the earthquake.

Rockin' and rollin' here in Orange County. Was on the phone with a friend who lives nearby so we got to experience it together. We said our prayers and stayed calm.

No wonder my wine glasses started clinking.

I think that there may be a chance of the earthquake getting bigger, and worse and for my family and for my friends, be smart and be safe!!!

I felt it here in the Antelope Valley.

Felt it in Irvine

felt in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA ... one moderate jolt followed by the same size twice

felt it on the 6th floor of an office building in Burbank. Building is on rollers and is still moving.

I'm in Fullerton, CA and I felt the earthquake! It caused my hangings to shake and wobble, and a few of my mirrors almost fell. My futon I am on currently moved an inch or so from the shakes, took me by surprise. I am currently watching the channel 2 news on the earthquake, can't wait till its all over and the aftershocks have passed.

i live in santa ana and felt like a rocking motion everything was shaking but we are doing fine.

Yes, felt it in Silver Lake at 4:54 by my computer clock - just a gentle swaying back and forth, no noise, and very short duration, no more than 5 seconds or so.

Yes, I was sitting in my garage on phone and computer, and the garge started shaking and I could feel the floor moving. I left and went outside really quickly... Wow...

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