Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Aftershock felt in downtown Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES -- A small but widely felt aftershock jolted the Los Angeles region Tuesday, two days after a magnitude-4.7 earthquake struck, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. The magnitude-4.1 temblor hit at 3:49 p.m. and was centered 10 miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles near the Los Angeles International Airport, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. No damage has been reported and there has been no increase in emergency calls, Los Angeles City Fire spokesman Brian Humphrey said. The aftershock occurred near the epicenter of Sunday's magnitude-4.7 quake that caused strong shaking in the beach towns south of the airport. Only light damage was reported. Tuesday's quake was felt in the high desert city of Palmdale about 50 miles to the north and in San Diego, about 120 miles to the south. It was barely felt at the airport, but emergency workers were checking runways and other airport infrastructure just to make sure nothing was damaged, said airport spokesman Tom Winfrey. "It was very slight but as a precaution we always do that check," he said. Esther Robertson, a cashier at a Burlington Coat Factory store near the epicenter in Hawthorne, said customers ran out of the store when the shaking began. "It was terrifying," she said. Scientists said the latest rattle was a typical aftershock. "It's a completely normal sort of pattern," USGS seismologist Lucy Jones said.

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