4.5-mag earthquake hits wide area of Southern California

By Ed Adamczyk Contact the Author   |  Jan. 6, 2016 at 1:24 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- A 4.5-magnitude earthquake shook a wide area of Southern California early Wednesday.

The epicenter of the quake was two miles north of the city of Banning, in Riverside County, 82 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, and was about one mile deep, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. But light shaking was reported in Riverside, San Bernardino, Irvine, Mission Viejo, Anaheim, Newport Beach, Long Beach and Downey.

No injuries or damage were reported.

The quake began at 6:42 a.m., with witnesses reporting about five seconds of shaking. There were reports of landslides in the Banning area, but they were likely caused by a week of heavy rains in the area, with more expected in the next two weeks with the arrival of an El Nino storm system. On Wednesday morning, the National Weather Service said parts of Southern California could get more than 3 inches of rain by Thursday.

In recent days there have been a number of minor earthquakes in the area, but Wednesday's quake was considerably stronger.

The center of Wednesday's earthquake activity is part of the San Andreas fault system, which runs north-south through the state. Prior earthquakes along the Banning fault, of a magnitude of 4.5 or greater, occurred in 1986, 1988, 1992 and 2005. The largest was a 5.9-magnitude quake, north of Palm Springs, in 1986.

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