Earthquake Near San Diego

A strong earthquake jolted East County at 4:53 p.m. today.  The quake, which was centered 13 miles north northwest of Borrego Springs in San Diego’s East County, was initially rated a 5.9 on the Richter scale but subsequently downgraded to a 5.4 according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

“Montezuma Valley Grade had boulders rock and come loose, laying in the roadway, a citizen reported,” a deputy at Borrego Springs told East County Magazine.  “They felt it was a safety hazard and I dispatched County Roads…Cell phone service went out for about five minutes also, it said all circuits were busy.”

“It was a rough jolt,” Linda Narrin, an employee at Orchard Hill Bed & Breakfast Inn in Julian, told East County Magazine.

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A moderate earthquake that rocked Southern California on Wednesday could be felt as far away as Las Vegas.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or major damage.

The magnitude-5.4 quake was centered 30 miles south of Palm Springs, the U.S. Geological Survey said. It struck at 4:53 p.m. It was initially reported as a magnitude-5.9 but later was downgraded.

The location is about 230 miles southwest of Las Vegas, but Clark County officials reported that the government center in downtown Las Vegas was swaying.

Clark County spokesman Erik Pappa said everyone in his office on the sixth floor of the building felt the quake.

“As soon as it happened, the level of chatter on the floor went up and there was some nervous laughter,” he said.

The blinds in the windows were swaying, Pappa said.

“It was a long, swaying, slightly rocking motion,” he said.

There was no damage to the building and Pappa said the county had not heard of reports of damage elsewhere in the county. Metro Police also had received no reports of damage.

The earthquake was also felt on the upper floors of the Regional Justice Center, courts spokesman Michael Sommermeyer said.

“It was just a little twisting, rolling sensation on the top of the building,” he said.

Sommermeyer said most of the people he was with on the 17th floor of the building felt the shaking, but people on some of the lower levels of the building told him they didn’t feel anything.

Officials walked through the building to check for damage, but none was reported, Sommermeyer said.

UNLV officials also reported feeling the quake on campus. The U.S. Geological Survey received reports that the earthquake was felt in the Las Vegas area and Laughlin.

Closer to the epicenter, sheriff’s departments in Riverside, Los Angeles and Orange counties in California have no reports of damage or injuries. The quake was felt as a long rolling motion in downtown Los Angeles.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.