Shake, Rattle and Roll - Earthquake

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Shake, Rattle and Roll - Earthquake

Post by Sandcock »

A rash of moderate quakes shook the south end of the Salton Sea on Saturday, and the largest quakes were felt from San Diego, Riverside and Orange counties east into Arizona.

"What we're seeing is a classic Brawley seismic swarm," USGS seismologist Lucy Jones said. "We haven't seen one of these since the 1970s, and there was another one back in the 1930s.''

At least two of the larger quakes, magnitudes 5.3 and 5.5, gently shook North County, but authorities said they received no reports of damage.

Southern California Edison declared an "unusual event" as the quakes were felt in the control room of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station's twin reactors. Both of those nuclear piles have been in secure shutdown mode all summer, while federal and state officials work with the utility to discover why a recent upgrade and expansion caused parts of the boilers to shake violently. SoCal Edison said the notification was a standard step required by the federal government.

But in Brawley, a small farm town 115 miles east-northeast of San Diego, some buildings were evacuated.

"It's pretty bad, we had to evacuate the hotel just for safety,'' said Rowena Rapoza, office manager at the Best Western Hotel there.

A crew of North County emergency responders headed over to Brawley on Sunday afternoon, a NorthComm dispatcher said.

Jones said USGS seismographs and analysis computers were overwhelmed by the rash of rattling that began at sunrise, and reached a crescendo with a magnitude 5.3 quake just after 12:30 p.m. It was followed by a 4.9 shaker within two minutes.

"Our system is choking on so many earthquakes," Jones said. "This area of California is deep soils, and we do not get as precise data as we do over the rest of the state, and that makes our data a little less precise."

Preliminary computerized USGS reports had indicated that three quakes larger than magnitude 5.3 had rattled out from Brawley at 12:30. That was later resolved by seismologists to be two quakes, magnitude 5.3 and 4.9, Jones said.

The quakes were strongly felt at Borrego Springs, in San Diego County about 25 miles west of the epicenter. "We've felt shaking for sure, but electricity has not gone out,'' said Gwenn Marie, owner of the Borrego Valley Inn.

The quakes were felt over all of San Diego, Riverside and Imperial counties, and in Yuma and La Paz counties in Arizona, according to a USGS registry.

However, there was no damage reported in Riverside County, according to Melody Hendrickson, spokeswoman for the Riverside County Fire Department. A dispatcher at the Riverside County Fire Department's Office of Emergency Services also reported no damage across the county.

The ground about 5 miles north-northwest of Brawley began to spasm at sunrise, and Brawley was rocked by a magnitude 3.9 quake at 10:02 a.m., followed by a 3.4 quake about 90 seconds later.

In the three hours after the first earthquakes, an additional 11 quakes struck the same approximate epicenter near the Salton Sea. Quakes with magnitudes of 4.0, 4.0. 4.6 and 4.7 reportedly also hit during the noon hour.

The apparent quake cluster was centered 3 miles north-northwest of Brawley, 16 miles north of El Centro and about 115 miles east-northeast of San Diego. Some of the quakes may have been just east of Brawley.

http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/sdcou ... 44ee4.html
The real egalitarians are not the people who want to redistribute wealth to the poor, but those who want to extend to the poor the ability to create their own wealth, to lift themselves up, instead of trying to tear others down. Earning respect, including self-respect, is better than being a parasite. Thomas Sowell

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