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Quake Shakes Southern California; Few Injuries Reported

December 3, 1988

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A moderate earthquake centered almost directly under the Rose Bowl shook Southern California early today, briefly knocking out power to more than 100,000 homes and businesses but causing no major damage. Thirteen minor injuries were reported.

The 3:38 a.m. quake registered 5.0 on the Richter scale, said Hall Daily, a spokesman for the California Institute of Technology Seismology Laboratory in Pasadena. The quake was felt at least 90 miles away, over a 15,000-square-mile area.

″It was the first time I’ve ever seen the house floor ripple,″ said Deb Halberstadt, an 11-year resident of Altadena a few miles north of the Rose Bowl.

″Our waterbed became a tidal wave,″ said Marilyn Weiss, who lives in Silverlake, five miles southwest of the Rose Bowl. Ceiling tiles fell and broken bottles littered the floor at a supermarket in her neighborhood.

The shock knocked out power to 100,000 customers in Los Angeles for up to seven minutes and caused outages in the North Hollywood, Northridge and Van Nuys areas of the San Fernando Valley, which are west of the epicenter.

No damage was immediately reported in Los Angeles County, said Sheriff’s Department spokesman Bill Wehner.

The quake was also felt in Orange, Riverside and San Diego counties. Several aftershocks were reported, the strongest measuring 2.6 on the Richter scale, Daily said.

Pasadena police and fire officials said the quake broke a few residential gas lines and tripped numerous burglar alarms.

Three people were treated for minor injuries at Huntington Memorial Hospital, about two miles from the epicenter, said hospital spokeswoman Linda Ramos. One woman tripped over furniture and hurt her leg, and another person tripped and fell, cutting her lip.

Similar injuries were reported at nearby Glendale Memorial Hospital and Medical Center and Glendale Adventist Medical Center. One patient suffered from chest pains.

The temblor prompted numerous calls to authorities from nervous residents.

″At 3:39, we got real busy, flooded with phone calls,″ American Telephone & Telegraph Co. operator Alex Tiujillo said in North Hollywood.

The epicenter was tentatively located in west Pasadena, almost directly under the Rose Bowl, Daily said.

The 66-year-old Rose Bowl, scene of the annual Tournament of Roses New Year’s Day college football game, appeared to be undamaged.

Nearby grocery stores reported some items fell from shelves.

″The jams and jellies were hit pretty bad and we lost a couple of bottles of juice and liquor but beyond that it didn’t even compare to the last earthquake,″ said Mitch Cramer, night manager of a store a quarter-mile away.

″It shook us up pretty bad,″ said Gary Isaacs, a police spokesman in nearby San Marino.

″It was a real good jolt, but it didn’t seem to cause any damage,″ said Dave Miller, a resident of Hemet, about 85 miles east of Los Angeles.

A 5.9 earthquake struck Oct. 1, 1987, in Whittier, about 10 miles to the southeast, and was felt throughout Southern California. Eight people died and 200 were injured by the quake, which caused $358 million damage.

The Richter scale is a measure of ground motion as recorded on seismographs. Every increase of one number means a tenfold increase in magnitude. Thus a reading of 7.5 reflects an earthquake 10 times stronger than one of 6.5.

An earthquake of 5 can cause considerable damage in the local area, 6 severe damage and a 7 reading is a ″major″ earthquake, capable of widespread heavy damage. An 8 is a ″great″ quake, capable of tremendous damage.

The San Francisco earthquake of 1906, which occurred before the Richter scale was devised, has been estimated at 8.3 on the Richter scale.

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