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Public Safety

Two Moderate Earthquakes Rattle Imperial County

Two moderate earthquakes that struck in Imperial County today were felt in San Diego and prompted Amtrak to delay coastal train traffic for a time, but no injuries or damage was reported.

A magnitude 4.8 quake hit at 11:33 a.m., 17 miles west-southwest of El Centro and 12 miles southwest of Seeley, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

A magnitude 4.7 tremor followed at 11:46 a.m. about a mile away.


An Amtrak spokeswoman said three Pacific Surfliner trains were halted between San Diego and Oceanside for an hour while officials inspected the tracks for any damage caused by the quakes. None was found, she said, and service resumed for the combined 400 passengers.

A southbound Coaster train, operated by the North County Transit District, also was halted south of Solana Beach for almost 90 minutes, according to media reports.

No damage was reported to authorities in the region. The temblors were felt at the downtown San Diego police headquarters, the sheriff's Kearny Mesa communications center, and in Chula Vista, where an officer described it as sharp.

"I sure did feel it,'' said Chula Vista police Lt. Fritz Reber. "I was in the building, sitting in front of the computer, and it shook a little bit. I could hear the ceiling tiles jiggle.

"You wait for everything to crash and you realize it would be too late, then, to get outside,'' he said. "It didn't last more than a few seconds.''


California Highway Patrol dispatchers and other regional police agencies said they were unaware of the temblor.

People across San Diego County and as far away as Aliso Viejo, Lake Elsinore and the Coachella Valley registered feeling the quake on a USGS


There have been thousands of aftershocks to the Easter Sunday magnitude 7.2 quake, which killed two people in Mexicali and caused about $91 million damage north of the border.

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