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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

Map: USGS

 
Comments () | Archives (124)

Felt the house sway and rattle here in Chino Hills.

WOW.. it was a good ringer even here in LA. bet the guys out at Warner Springs Airport felt this one.

this was my fist earth quake experience.....SCARY is what i have to say...i'm from South dakota and we dont have anything like this back at home..i was talkin to my sister at the time the earth quake was happening and she was like " OH MY GOD ****** YOU NEED TO GET OUTTA THERE" LOL

FROM SYLMAR CA I FELT THE NOISE COMING FROM UNDER MY HOUSE DID NOT KNOW WHAT IT WAS UNTIL I WENT TO THE DINNING ROOM AND SAW MY CHADELIER MOVING SIDE TO SIDE I THEN GOT A LITTlE SCARE SO I WENT OUTSIDE AND SAW MY POOL WATER ALSO MOVING SIDE TO SIDE I HOPE THAT IS OVER IT BROUGHT MEMORIES OF THE 1994 EARTH QUAKE HERE IN THE SYLMAR AREA .

I love earthquakes! But I didn't feel it. I'm very bummed out. Why can't the center be here in Santa Ana?

i felt the earthquake.as i was walking home the ground moved and i tripped an felt down and broke my arm and leg.

We are in one of the high towers in Century City (West L.A.) area, my dept. on 10th floor. Felt first in our area on Northwest corner of building, mild shaking, then heard cracking of our (thick glassed) windows. Shaking continued for about 30 seconds. Our building on rollers. They felt or heard nothing downstairs in our lobby (on 1st floor).

as i was walking i felt it and i went crazy and started pulling my hair.i went to the ground and started panking.and then the police came and took me to the mental group.but i was still screaming in the car.

I live near Centinela Ave & Ocean Park Blvd in Santa Monica - and I was seated on the 2nd floor. Actually I felt a bit of a tremor a few minutes previous. The 5.9 (or 5.4) was a good shake - rolling, maybe lasting 30 seconds.

Hopefully with the flooding of the Rio Grand and border earthquakes the trespassing of 10000+ illegal aliens and otm"s (other than mexicans) will slow down. Impeach Villarigosa

Yep

I am terrified of earthquakes and lately it seems that the world is seeing more and more earthquakes in places that were not the typical or usual earthquake territory. I live in Southren California and I worked in one of the largest high-rise buildings in the down town LA area and I quit the company because of my fear of earthquakes. Earthquakes are unpredictable and in many ways deadly; I pray for our safety yet I know the possibilities of a mass earthquake and potential devastation on this land we call home so I am preparing myself mentally and physically for the natural disasters to come in the future.

Felt it in Canoga Park; in the car, at an intersection. Thought it was my son's legs, then cars/trucks...then I caught on.
Guy on the radio said, "Yes, that was an earthquake you felt."

Felt it here in Monterey Park, CA

I wasr just in los angeles yesterday and when I saw it was so cold and raining I felt an earthquake was coming, . We need to pray the weather has been so crazy may God have mercy on us.

You know you're a native Southern Californian when you say, "Gee whiz - only a 5.4? I'm going back to my nap now."

I guess this answers the question written about recently in this publication concerning whether the Mexicali earthquake has put additional tension on the Elsinore or, as apparently slipped here, the San Jacinto fault zones.

Lets hope that this was the end to it and there are no more tremors.

I work in a national call center headquartered in Pasadena, but was on the phone with a customer..he felt the pre-jolt first and then a second later I felt it and the same with the major jolt. Folks in the office were concerned but not alarmed. None of us ducked and covered as we drilled though.

I was in my car, at a stop light, waiting to turn into a shopping center. Then it started to rock as if a big truck had driven by; except no truck. The shaking continued, and I realized what had happened.

In terms of percentages, how many times does USGS upgrade vs downgrade? Why is that?

The whole apartment shook right here in west los angeles!!!! It was kinda scary cz i was up on the 5th floor!!!

South of Desert Hot Springs here and felt it very strongly...live in a mobile home which is actually good...just kind of rolls with it......LOL.

I was half asleep and thought it was the living room sub, but started swaying very gradually until I heard a loud "EARTHQUAKE, GET OUT!!!". Lasted for about 5 seconds. (San Gabriel, CA)

I felt dizzy and my dogs started barking

 
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