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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 pretty well on the coast in Dana Point. Seemed like it lasted a while but no damage. I haven't felt this many quakes in such a short time span.

woke me up from a nap in echo park, darnit

You bet! Sitting at traffic signal in Del Mar when I felt my car start to shake. Quickly looking about I noticed the traffic light and lamp standards moving in a weirdly synchronized movement. Felt like 5.0 and to be sure it was.

Headline says 5.4. Article says 5.9. Which?

We always have earthquakes. So what?

it was not that big calm down

Funny, I was on my road bike and did not feel a thing. Was amazed to hear the reports when I got home.

Yes, I felt it.

When there's not a lot of fragile infrastructure around such as freeway overpasses and tall bldgs an earthquake isn't such a bad thing, in fact they can be fun for the thrill-seekers.
One place I would hate to be is inside a big-box store like Costco where there's all that stuff stacked high atop the shelving

Hi, I was going to go in the bath, when all of the sudden, I felt the bathtub shake! It scared me pretty bad and some stuff fell....

We felt it here in Bullhead City Arizona!

I live in Sun City. The earthquake was two big bangs in row. Other wise no problems. Yet!

Yeah, this 20 story downtown LA building was swaying and creakin for what seemed like about 2 minutes or so. Glad we had our house foundation bolted.

felt the shaking down here in Ensenada, Baja California

This was the most violent shaking I have felt since I moved to Palm Springsin 2006. It sounded like a train was shaking the house, it hit fast, the noise grew louder, the shaking and jolts became stronger, doors and windows rattled, water sloshed out of the pool, the floor appeared to undulate under my feet. The 7.2 Easter Sunday quake was a walk in the park compared with this quake. It was difficult to stand and dive under something to take cover. Now to calm the nerves... Whew!

I was on the 9th floor at mid-wilshire and our building shook pretty good for several minutes, no major damage or injuries here.

Felt it for sure in Brentwood... almost like the 7.2 that hit a few months back.. lasted for a shorter time though.

I'm in Hesperia and I felt it when I was sitting at my computer, I went and asked my landlord and she felt it too.

A little shake nothing else

I felt it in the Silver Lake Area,it was a side to side movement. more an east to west.

There are a lot of typos in this article. Mainly towards the end. For instance the word "neat" was used instead of "near" and the "r" was left out of trembler. There are more too.
Just a heads up. Maybe someone needs an editor?

I felt it here in San Jacinto - just off the Hemet border. It was a pretty good one, too. It knocked stuff all the wall (didn't break - thankfully) - seemed to last close to 30 seconds. There were several sharp jolts and some rolling (it seemed) - still kind of freaked out about it all. Waiting for some bigger aftershocks now...

I am in the Criminal Courts Building at 210 W. Temple Street and the building started to sway because of the earthquake. It lasted about 10 seconds.The building is on rollers.

Pasadena Felt it...

It woke me up from my nap here in Lancaster, CA. I immediately checked the web and called my in-laws after hearing it was down there. The were fine just a buch of barking from their dogs and waves in their pool.

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