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Moderate Earthquake Strikes Southern California

August 17, 1995

RIDGECREST, Calif. (AP) _ A moderate earthquake struck the high desert in Southern California on Thursday.

No injuries or major damage were immediately reported.

The estimated 5.4-magnitude quake, which struck at 3:39 p.m., was centered 11 miles from Ridgecrest, about 100 miles north of Los Angeles, said Max Benavidez, spokesman for the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

``It was quite strong,″ said Capt. Richard Davis of the Kern County Fire Department. ``We felt the initial shock and two aftershocks.″

At a local grocery store, the effects were minimal.

``It was quick up and down motion. It lasted about 5 seconds,″ said Mark Russell, assistant manager at Albertson’s in Ridgecrest, a city of about 28,000. ``We had a few items fall.″

At the local newspaper, ``there isn’t any obvious damage at all, structural or otherwise,″ said Scott Farwell, managing editor of The Daily Independent. ``We had minor shifting ... books moving around on shelves.″

A magnitude-5 quake can produce moderate damage. Magnitude 6 can cause severe damage if it is centered in a populated area.

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