Brea school to close for further inspection of earthquake damage

An elementary school in Brea will be closed Monday for further safety inspections after last week's earthquake, but otherwise damage from Friday's magnitude 5.1 shaker appears to have been modest and clustered in northern Orange County, according to reports Sunday.

Light fixtures and ceiling tiles tumbled down at Fanning Elementary School, said Principal Susan Metcalf, who sent an email Sunday afternoon informing the families of 460 students about the school closure.

"We're still trying to determine if it's safe to open due to earthquake damage," Metcalf said Sunday night.

PHOTOS: 5.1 earthquake rattles L.A., Orange County

Childcare will be available for families who need it throughout the day at Mariposa School, she said. She expected students back to school Tuesday, but said classes might be held at a different site.

Seven homes in Fullerton and one in Brea, plus a commercial building there, remain red-tagged, but 20 others were released for occupation, said Fullerton Fire Battalion Chief John Stokes.

Damage includes building foundations separating from walls, fireplaces cracking and pulling away from the siding, and walls tilting and and angling, he said.

The homes were red-tagged as potential life hazards by fire crews but could be re-occupied after they are examined by building inspectors, he said.

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Friday night's shaking left scattered damage near the quake's epicenter one mile east of La Habra, including broken water mains, dangling street lights and shattered glass. More than 100 aftershocks followed through the weekend.

Experts said that based on preliminary data, the series of earthquakes appeared to have occurred on the Puente Hills thrust fault, which stretches from the San Gabriel Valley to downtown Los Angeles.

The fault also caused the 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake.


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