Powerful Quake Hits Imperial Valley Area

Associated Press

A powerful earthquake jolted Southern California on Monday evening, registering slightly stronger than the quake that inflicted massive damage in the Los Angeles area on Oct. 1.

The quake appeared to be centered northwest of the Imperial Valley desert community of Westmorland, where residents said the jolt shook items off shelves. The epicenter was about 100 miles northeast of San Diego.

Residents in cities as far away as Glendale, 150 miles distant, felt the temblor. It was also felt in Riverside and San Bernardino.

A preliminary estimation was that the quake registered 6.2 on the Richter scale, said Caltech spokesman Robert Finn. The Oct. 1 quake that caused heavy damage in the Los Angeles suburb of Whitter was 5.9 on the Richter scale.

The quake was reported by residents across San Diego County as well.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or heavy damage, but telephone lines to an Imperial Valley police station went down.

Seismologists in Pasadena said the temblor hit about 5:53 p.m. and was centered in Imperial County.

Sgt. John Jordan of the El Centro Police Department said the earthquake lasted about 30 seconds, and caused the department's telephone lines to go down.

"Our lines are down," he said at 5:55 p.m. "You're the only one whose got through," he told an Associated Press reporter.

"We've had no reports of damage at this point. We've made a preliminary check of the city and all buildings seem to be standing. Some traffic lights are down. That's the worst so far and if we're lucky that'll be the worst thing."

In San Diego, Sgt. Margaret Schaufelberger said, "We felt it. It shook the building a little bit."

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