Earthquake: Aftershock causes minor damage in Fullerton

A large aftershock Saturday afternoon caused minor damage but unnerved some Fullerton residents already jittery from the previous night’s 5.1 temblor.

The 4.1-magnitude quake occurred at 2:32 p.m. in Rowland Heights, about five miles from Friday's epicenter. Twitter users as far as East Los Angeles reported feeling it.

The shaking, which residents described as a rolling rumble, caused at least two water main breaks in Fullerton, leaving some residents without water while city crews scrambled to the scene, said Fullerton Police Lieut. Mike Chlebowski.

Officials in the nearby communities of La Habra, Brea, Yorba Linda and Placentia said no new damage or injuries were reported Saturday.

The Saturday afternoon jolt came as crews in Fullerton were wrapping up repairs on some of the worst damage from Friday’s quake, which burst at least 11 water mains there and sent water gushing through the intersection of Gilbert and Rosecrans, a major thoroughfare between Fullerton and La Habra.

Crews worked through the night to repair the water main inside a 12-by-20-foot hole in the middle of the road. They were getting ready to reopen the road at 2:45 p.m. when the latest quake struck.

“I was hoping I wouldn’t have to send them back out there,” Chlebowski said following the aftershock, but so far, the water main appears to be holding.

In nearby La Habra, the epicenter of Friday night’s seismic activity, 20 to 30 businesses suffered broken plate glass windows Friday night, police said.

After the shaking stopped, City Councilwoman Rose Espinoza said she received several text messages from concerned citizens. “Should we leave? The kids are worried,” they wrote to her.

She tried to calm their nerves, Espinoza said, but ultimately told them the decision was theirs.

“I imagine everyone else is like me, just waiting for the other shakes to come along,” she said.

Espinoza made her way to the La Habra Community Center, where about 50 residents gathered at a Red Cross shelter after being evacuated due to water and gas leaks in their homes.

At La Habra’s City Hall, ceiling tiles that had fallen as a result of Friday’s quake had already been replaced by Saturday morning.

“The city fared well this time around, considering we were the epicenter,” Espinoza said. “But who knows what’s going to come down the pipeline next.”

The councilwoman said her next stop was a 5:30 p.m. Mass in her community, which she knew other residents would be attending.

“You just hope it doesn’t happen while you’re in church, too. Such a tall buildling, and lots of stained glass. But,” she said, laughing, “I guess it’s just a part of living in California."

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