Calif. earthquake causes minor damage


LOS ANGELES - An earthquake roiled southern California early yesterday afternoon, shoving bottles and bric-a-brac from shelves and shaking buildings from the desert to the Pacific Ocean.

At least one injury was reported at a resort in Lake Arrowhead. There were also reports of minor damage, including downed telephone lines. Two rockslides were reported in San Bernardino County.

Yesterday's earthquake followed several others during the past week. An earthquake of magnitude 7.0 rattled off of the coast of northern California on Tuesday evening. Authorities, in turn, issued a tsunami warning for coastal areas from Alaska to Mexico.

On Sunday, a quake measuring 5.1 struck 20 miles south of Palm Springs. A quake of 7.8 hit Chile a day later, killing at least 11 people. In recent days, an earthquake measuring 6.8 struck the Aleutian Islands, where it was preceded and followed by smaller quakes.

But Lucy Jones, scientist-in-charge at the U.S. Geological Survey office in Pasadena, pointed out that the recent earthquakes weren't an unusual level of seismic activity.

Yesterday's quake was initially measured at a magnitude of 5.3 but was downgraded to 4.9, said a spokeswoman for the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo. The 8-mile-deep quake struck at 1:53 p.m., about 70 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

"It was felt in a pretty wide area, especially Palm Springs and the Los Angeles areas. But we have not had reports of any damage at this time," said Dale Grant, a geophysicist at the National Earthquake Information Center.

Grant said the epicenter, two miles northeast of Yucaipa, was near the San Andreas Fault. He pointed out that a 5.1 earthquake was recorded nearby on June 12.

The Los Angeles Times is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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