Quake Rattles Southern Calif.

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.  — A moderate earthquake struck Thursday night in San Bernardino, with shaking felt from Los Angeles 55 miles to the west and south to Orange County. No immediate reports of damage or injuries were reported.

A preliminary reading by the U.S. Geological Survey showed a 4.5-magnitude quake struck at 7:49 p.m. about one mile south of San Bernardino, a city of about 200,000 people. The USGS initially reported it at 4.9, then 5.0.

San Bernardino County Fire Supervisor Tim Franke said there were no reports of damage.

"It was a little roll and big jolt, then a sonic boom kind of noise," Franke said.

San Bernardino police, Orange County and Los Angeles County sheriff's officials also said no damage or injuries were reported.

Bryan Gillott, a tattoo artist who works at Alla Prima Ink Lab in San Bernardino, said he felt the ground rolling under his feet for several seconds. He said he did not see any damage. Gillott said he tried to call his mother on his cell phone but the call didn't go through.

"I was on the computer," he said. "We all just got to a doorway and waited for it to be over."

Julie Zeoli, a librarian at the Yorba Linda Public Library in Orange County, said she felt shaking but doesn't have any mess to clean up.

"We didn't even have any books fall," she said. "We only felt it for about a second."

The quake struck near the San Jacinto fault, which is part of the San Andreas Fault system, said seismologist Lucy Jones of the U.S. Geological Survey.

The San Jacinto fault cuts through the fast-growing city of San Bernardino west of City Hall. The city has dozens of unreinforced masonry buildings that are prone to damage during a big quake, Jones said.

The quake was the latest moderate temblor to hit the region in recent months. A 5.1 magnitude hit in early December, and in July a magnitude-5.4 quake centered in the hills east of Los Angeles was the strongest to rattle a populated area of Southern California since the 1994 Northridge disaster.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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