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Quake Hits Northern Areas of the Region

January 29, 2002|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A light earthquake rattled the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and Simi valleys Monday night, but there were no reports of damage.

Officials at the Caltech seismological laboratories said the magnitude 4.2 temblor occurred at 9:53 p.m. Over the next hour, at least 13 aftershocks were recorded, including a 3.9 at 10 p.m. and a 3.8 at 10:08 p.m.

They said the quake was centered about six miles west of Valencia and apparently occurred about 1.6 miles below the surface of the earth.

"It shook this facility quite mightily," said Jeff Lawrence, manager of the Ventura County sheriff's station in Simi Valley, about five miles from the epicenter. But nothing fell from walls, and Lawrence said he thought at first that a water main might have broken.

Carlos Pena, a manager of a Denny's restaurant near the center of town, said no pots or pans fell during the shaking, but patrons became uneasy.

"The customers got a little panicky," Pena said. "Most of them stood up and tried to get to the cash register to pay quickly, and one girl couldn't wait and she started to make, kind of like, screaming noises."

Simi Valley police said emergency procedures were put into effect but were not needed. Sheriff's personnel in Santa Clarita said it "wasn't that bad."

"There was just a jolt," said a dispatcher at the sheriff's station in Santa Clarita who gave her name as Officer V. Wilson.

"We only got about 15 calls, which shows it wasn't that much," she said. "It was nothing compared to the [Northridge] quake back in 1994."

The first quake was felt throughout a wide section of Southern California, including Pasadena, Santa Barbara, West Hollywood and much of the northwest side of Los Angeles.

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