Earthquake rattles California desert area

Author: Associated Press
Published: Updated:

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) – A moderate earthquake struck early Friday in desert wilderness nearly 30 miles south of Palm Springs and was felt across much of Southern California, waking people up but reportedly causing no significant damage.

The magnitude-5.2 temblor struck just after 1 a.m. and touched off dozens of smaller aftershocks, including a magnitude-3.8 less than a minute later, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

People in San Diego and Los Angeles, about 100 miles to the west, posted on Facebook and other social media that they felt the shaking.

Saum Yermian, a longtime Los Angeles resident who has been through his share of quakes, was in bed getting ready to go to sleep when he felt the jolt.

“Within the first 2 seconds or so, I noticed this was a large-size quake,” he said. “The jolt was strong enough for me to recognize this wasn’t a (magnitude) 3 or 4.”

Nothing was damaged in Yermian’s home, but he recorded and posted video on Instagram of a chandelier still swaying after the ground stopped moving.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said they had no reports of damage.

Much of the region includes the rugged expanse of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, which sprawls over more than 900 square miles.

Veteran seismologist Lucy Jones, who recently retired from the Geological Survey, tweeted that the earthquake occurred near the San Jacinto Fault, which is historically the most active in Southern California.

The quake was near the locations of a magnitude-6 in 1937 and a 5.3 in 1980, she said.

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