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Earthquake Hits Area Near Los Angeles; Some Damage Reported

An earthquake shook part of Southern California Friday night, breaking water pipes and rattling nerves with aftershocks that went on into the night. The 5.1-magnitude quake hit at a shallow depth about 20 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

While the quake didn't inflict severe damage in the area around its epicenter, it caused many problems, from water main breaks to a rockslide. Thousands of people felt its effects; there haven't been reports of serious injuries.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

"Residents across Orange and Los Angeles counties and the Inland Empire reported swinging chandeliers, fireplaces dislodging from walls and lots of rattled nerves. The shake caused a rock slide in Carbon Canyon, causing a car to overturn, according to the Brea Police Department. Fullerton police received reports of water main breaks and windows shattering, but primarily had residents calling about burglar alarms being set off by the quake."

The quake hit one mile east of La Habra, Calif., at 9:09 p.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey, which also identifies the area as 4 miles north of Fullerton. Within the next hour, 23 aftershocks were detected.

In Costa Mesa, the earthquake's timing coincided with a dance performance. As NPR member station KPCC reports, the show went on — drawing cheers from those in attendance:

"At an Alvin Ailey performance at Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa, dancers were in the middle of 'Wade in the Water' segment of Ailey's classic 'Revelations' piece. Dancers continued as the theater shook, bringing claps and cheers from the audience.

"Alvin Ailey Dancer Megan Jakel told KPCC's Brian Frank that the quake caught her by surprise on stage.

" 'All of the railways and lights were shaking above me and swinging,' she said. 'I ran in my costume away from the stage until it was safe, and then I proceeded to go back and do my job.' "

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