A magnitude-4.5 earthquake centered in Riverside County produced shaking Wednesday morning across a widespread area of Southern California.
Shaking was reported in several Riverside County communities and areas of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Orange counties, including beach cities. The Riverside County Sheriff's Department and San Bernardino County Fire Department said there were no immediate reports of damage.
The quake was reported at 6:42 a.m. two miles north of Banning, a town about 85 miles east of downtown Los Angeles along the 10 Freeway in the San Gorgonio Pass. The earthquake in the San Andreas fault zone was initially reported with a magnitude of 4.8, but later downgraded to magnitude-4.5.
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"It just felt like a big rumble," said resident Cesar Romero. "Like something big falling."
The USGS received hundreds of responses on its earthquake reporting page. Weak to light shaking was reported in Riverside, San Bernardino, Irvine, Mission Viejo, Anaheim, Newport Beach, Long Beach, Downey, other parts of Los Angeles and the high desert.
Residents said the shaking lasted about five seconds.
"My heart started beating fast," said Teresa Perez, who was working at a convenience store. "We were about ready to run out of the store."
Landslides were reported after the earthquake on State Route 243 near Twin Pines Road in the Banning area, but authorities did not immediately confirm they are connected to the quake. Caltrans crews were responding to the slide, which occurred as heavy rains hammered Southern California during a week of storms that have increased the threat of landslides.
The quake was located within the San Andreas fault system, according to the USGS. Some of the region's strongest quakes have occurred within the expansive fault zone, which slices the state in two from northern to southern California.
"We always watch EQs near San Andreas closely, but because this area has a lot, the chance that anyone will trigger San Andreas is very low," tweeted USGS seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones.
@NBCLA in Beaumont: windows shook, ceiling fans swung, but no damage. No rolling, but a back and forth jerk for about 5 seconds— Erik (@Captcrabshack) January 6, 2016
@NBCLA felt it in banning shook so bad whole house shook woke us up it was loud, rolled and large jolt! Scary!!!— Christa Ceniceros (@clceni) January 6, 2016
Previous magnitude-4.5 and greater quakes along the fault in the Banning area were reported in 1986, 1988, 1992 and 2005. The largest was a magnitude-5.9 quake north of Palm Springs in July 1986.
Last week, a magntiude-4.3 quake shook the Devore area, about 40 miles northwest of Banning.