5.4 earthquake rattles Southern California


A magnitude-5.4 earthquake rocked the San Diego area late Wednesday afternoon, giving homes, high-rises, businesses and roadways throughout the county a pronounced shaking but apparently causing no injuries or property damage.

The temblor, centered about 15 miles north-northwest of Borrego Springs, struck at 4:53 p.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Though the quake was widely felt across the county, the region’s police and emergency-services agencies received no immediate reports of any problems resulting from the temblor.

The shaker also jostled communities in the Riverside area and as far away as Palmdale in northern Los Angeles County.

Darren Pudgil, spokesman for San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, said there had been no reports of damage, though the quake temporarily knocked out elevator service at City Hall, forcing many workers to use the stairs to exit the 13-story building.

Gil Alexander, a spokesman for Southern California Edison, said the

shaking was felt at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, but was “not sufficient to lead to an automatic shutdown of the reactor.” Inspectors looking over the facility had found “no indication of damage,” Alexander added.

At Palm Canyon Resort in Borrego Springs, cooking pans, glasses and other objects fell from shelves as the buildings rocked back and forth, but nothing broke, said Scott Elliott, the establishment’s manager.

“It was a strong hit,” he said. “You could hear it coming — a loud rumbling, like a truck.”

Celina Deldadillo, a waitress at nearby Kendall’s Cafe, said she was about to leave her home to go to work when the temblor hit, startling her so much that she screamed.

“It was scary,” she said by telephone from her Palm Canyon Drive workplace, where boxes of cereal and other supplies fell to the floor as the building vibrated.

Deldadillo added that the quake was the strongest she’d ever felt.

“I know a lot of people are shaking now, like me,” she said. “My heart’s going, ‘boom, boom, boom!’”