Small aftershock rattles downtown Los Angeles

May 20, 2009

(AP) -- A small but widely felt aftershock jolted the Los Angeles region Tuesday, two days after a magnitude-4.7 earthquake struck. An apartment building in Long Beach was evacuated due to roof damage but there were no reports of serious injuries.

The magnitude-4 hit at 3:49 p.m. and was centered 10 miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles, near the Los Angeles International Airport, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Computers and seismologists initially estimated the magnitude at 4.1 but later downgraded the .

A Long Beach fire dispatcher said at least a dozen people were evacuated late Tuesday from an apartment building after someone noticed the quake damaged the building's eaves. The dispatcher said inspectors will look at the damage and decide what action to take.

Los Angeles city fire spokesman Brian Humphrey said no other damage was reported and there was no increase in emergency calls.

The aftershock occurred near the epicenter of Sunday's quake, which caused strong shaking and light damage in the beach towns south of the airport.

Tuesday's quake was felt in the high desert city of Palmdale about 50 miles to the north and in San Diego, about 120 miles to the south.

It was barely felt at the airport, but emergency workers were checking runways and other airport infrastructure to make sure nothing was damaged, airport spokesman Tom Winfrey said.

"It was very slight but as a precaution we always do that check," he said.

Scientists said the latest rattle was a typical aftershock.

"It's a completely normal sort of pattern," USGS seismologist Lucy Jones said.

That was little solace to a shaken Esther Robertson, a cashier at a Burlington Coat Factory store near the epicenter in Hawthorne. She said customers ran out of the store when the quake hit.

"It was terrifying," Robertson said.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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