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Temblor Rocks San Diego, but No Damage Reported

October 08, 2003|Kenneth Reich | Times Staff Writer

The San Diego metropolitan area was shaken Tuesday morning by a magnitude 3.6 jolt centered almost precisely where the Mexican border reaches the Pacific.

There were no reports of damage or injuries in the temblor that struck at 10:35 a.m. 13 miles south of San Diego.

However, more than 1,600 descriptions of the shaking were sent to the U.S. Geological Survey's Web site, some saying the quake was as strong as intensity IV on the modified Mercalli scale. That indicated that in areas close to the border, hanging objects swung, windows, doors and dishes rattled and glasses clinked.

Generally, however, quakes at this intensity do no damage.

The last sizable San Diego County quake occurred July 13, 1986. The magnitude 5.3 jolt killed one person and injured 28 near Oceanside.

Fault studies have shown a large quake in the 6- or 7-magnitude range is possible in the San Diego area, although the last was in 1800.

Tuesday's quake was felt as far north as San Clemente and east to the Imperial County line. Seismologist Lucy Jones at the Geological Survey said it was not associated with any known fault. Its depth was 10 miles.

San Diego is comparatively distant from the San Andreas fault, which runs well inland in Southern California.

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