Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Seismologist says yesterday's 5.4 earthquake 'triggered' by 7.2 Easter day shaker near border

SAN DIEGO - A magnitude-5.4 earthquake rocked San Diego county yesterday just before 5 p.m., giving homes, high-rises, businesses and roadways throughout the county a pronounced shaking but apparently causing no injuries or property damage.

The temblor, centered about 15 miles north-northwest of Borrego Springs, struck at 4:53 p.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Though the quake was widely felt across the county, the region's police and emergency-services agencies received no immediate reports of any problems resulting from the temblor.

The shaker also jostled communities in the Riverside area and as far away as Palmdale in northern Los Angeles County.

Darren Pudgil, spokesman for San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, said there had been no reports of damage, though the quake temporarily knocked out elevator service at City Hall, forcing many workers to use the stairs to exit the 13-story building.

Gil Alexander, a spokesman for Southern California Edison, said the shaking was felt at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, but was "not sufficient to lead to an automatic shutdown of the reactor." Inspectors looking over the facility had found "no indication of damage," Alexander added.

At Palm Canyon Resort in Borrego Springs, cooking pans, glasses and other objects fell from shelves as the buildings rocked back and forth, but nothing broke, said Scott Elliott, the establishment's manager.

"It was a strong hit," he said. "You could hear it coming -- a loud rumbling, like a truck."

Celina Deldadillo, a waitress at nearby Kendall's Cafe, said she was about to leave her home to go to work when the temblor hit, startling her so much that she screamed.

"It was scary," she said by telephone from her Palm Canyon Drive workplace, where boxes of cereal and other supplies fell to the floor as the building vibrated.

Deldadillo added that the quake was the strongest she'd ever felt.

"I know a lot of people are shaking now, like me," she said. "My heart's going, 'boom, boom boom!'"

USGS seismologist Kate Hutton told reporters at Caltech in Pasadena that the quake likely occurred in the San Jacinto fault zone, and it was followed by about two dozen small aftershocks, the largest a magnitude-3.6.

She said the quake was likely not an aftershock to the magnitude-7.2 temblor centered near the Mexican border that rattled much of Southern California in early April.

"This earthquake, probably, although it's pretty close in time after the April earthquake, it's probably not an aftershock because it's located in a different location,'' Hutton said. "But it probably is what we would call a triggered earthquake, because we're now thinking that the 7.2 earthquake in April changed the strain slightly in the San Jacinto fault area and the Elsinore fault area, and it increased the number of small earthquakes that were happening there. And this is an example of an earthquake that's like that."

Hutton said residents should take today's quake as a warning to be prepared for temblors.

"The best way for people to look at this earthquake is that it's a drill," she said. "... If this one had been the big one, what would I have done? Would I have been prepared? Would I have had my supplies, my plan and all that? ... So review everything, check your kit, because we can't predict earthquakes, we don't know when they're going to happen, so we have to be prepared all the time."

(previous story, July 7, 2010, 6:30 p.m.)

No injuries reported in magnitude 5.4 earthquake, people trapped in elevators

--Update as of 6:30 p.m.--

Over 110 related earthquakes or aftershocks have occured since the initial 5.4 quake at 4:53 pm. To see a map of all the earthquakes in the last week, go to http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqscanv/FaultMaps/116-33.html

PALM SPRINGS - A magnitude-5.4 earthquake struck today south of Palm Springs, trapping about a half-dozen people in elevators, but there were no reports of damage or injuries in Riverside County.

The 4:53 p.m. quake was centered about 13 miles north-northwest of Borrego Springs and 28 miles south of Palm Springs, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

''It shook pretty good, a pretty hard jolt. The duration was 10 to 15 seconds,'' said Palm Springs Deputy Fire Chief Scott Ventura, adding that there no reports of damage or injuries in the city.

About six people were struck in the service and public elevators for about an hour at the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage, said casino spokeswoman Therese Everett-Kerley.

A rock slide was reported near the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, but officers determined there was no damage as a result of the slide.

Some rocks fell onto the roadway on state Route 74 near Idyllwild and a California Highway Patrol unit was en route to check the highway, a CHP dispatcher said.

Southern California Edison reported no outages in the Coachella Valley.

Officials at Palm Springs International Airport took five minutes following the quake to make sure all systems were operational, but no injuries or damage occurred, said Tom Nolan, the airport's executive director.

USGS seismologist Kate Hutton told reporters at Caltech in Pasadena that the quake likely occurred in the San Jacinto fault zone, and it was followed by about two dozen small aftershocks, the largest a magnitude-3.6.

She said the quake was likely not an aftershock to the magnitude-7.2 temblor centered near the Mexican border that rattled much of Southern California in early April.

''This earthquake, probably, although it's pretty close in time after the April earthquake, it's probably not an aftershock because it's located in a different location,'' Hutton said. ''But it probably is what we would call a triggered earthquake, because we're now thinking that the 7.2 earthquake in April changed the strain slightly in the San Jacinto fault area and the Elsinore fault area, and it increased the number of small earthquakes that were happening there. And this is an example of an earthquake that's like that.''

Hutton said residents should take today's quake as a warning to be prepared for temblors.

''The best way for people to look at this earthquake is that it's a drill,'' she said. ''... If this one had been the big one, what would I have done? Would I have been prepared? Would I have had my supplies, my plan and all that? ... So review everything, check your kit, because we can't predict earthquakes, we don't know when they're going to happen, so we have to be prepared all the time.''

--Update as of 5:37 p.m.--

Riverside - A magnitude-5.4 earthquake struck Wednesday south of Palm Springs, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey the earthquake could be felt in the Inland Empire areas of Anza, Borrego Springs, La Quinta, Indio, Palm Springs, Temecula, and all the way down south in Fallbrook and other San Diego County areas.

Anza Valley Pharmacist Soji Akanwo said he felt the earthquake “big time.”

Several items fell off his store shelves when the incident occurred.

Akanwo, who is originally from Nigeria, has been in California for the last 21 years.

“I haven’t felt it this bad since I have been in California,” he said. “This is pretty rough.”

Officials from the Sage Fire Station #28 in Hemet said they definitely felt the quake but at press time had not gone out on any phone calls related to the event.

The Anza Valley Fire Station #29 also did not have to go out on any phone calls related to the earthquake as of yet.

The quake was centered about 13 miles north-northwest of Borrego Springs and 28 miles south of Palm Springs, according to the Survey.

“We have no reports of damage at this point,” said Palm Springs Battalion Chief John Merriam, adding that firefighters were out checking neighborhoods.

Some rocks fell onto the roadway on state Route 74 near Idyllwild and a California Highway Patrol unit was en route to check the roadways, a CHP dispatcher said.

The shaker was followed by a series of aftershocks, most measuring around magnitude-3.0.

The temblor was an apparent aftershock to the magnitude-7.2 earthquake that struck Easter Sunday, which killed two people in Mexicali and caused hundreds of millions of dollars of damage in Imperial County.

SAN DIEGO - A magnitude-5.4 earthquake rocked San Diego today, giving buildings and roadways throughout the county a good shaking for several seconds but leading to no immediate reports of injuries or structural damage.

The temblor, centered about 13 miles north-northwest of Borrego Springs, struck at 4:53 p.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The shaker was felt in Riverside County and as far north as Palmdale in northern Los Angeles

County.

Police and fire dispatchers and a spokesman for the county Sheriff's Department said they had no immediate word of any problems caused by the quake.

Darren Pudgil, spokesman for San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, said there had been no reports of any damage.

The quake temporarily knocked out elevator service at San Diego City Hall, forcing many workers to use the stairs to exit the 13-story building.

Gil Alexander, spokesman for Southern California Edison, said the shaking was felt at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, but was ''not sufficient to lead to an automatic shutdown of the reactor.''

Alexander said inspectors were looking at the facility, but there was ''no indication of damage.''

--Older update below--

There have been over 20 aftershocks with 6 reported at over 3.0 magnitude.

Please use the comment system below to let us know where you live and if you felt it and if there was any damage.

The 5.9 earthquake was just downgraded to 5.4 magnitude. It is being reported that the quake was large enough to knock things off of shelves in Riverside County. Details to follow.

Today at 4:53 pm, a 5.9 magnitude earthquake struck the San Diego and Riverside area. It was 7.3 miles deep and the epicenter was

22 km (13 miles) NNW (332°) from Borrego Springs, CA

23 km (14 miles) SE (131°) from Anza, CA

33 km (20 miles) NE (52°) from Lake Henshaw, CA

41 km (25 miles) SW (215°) from Indio, CA

45 km (28 miles) S (174°) from Palm Springs, CA

94 km (58 miles) NE (41°) from San Diego, CA

More info to follow.

 

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