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Quake shakes area outside Los Angeles
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A magnitude-5.5 earthquake struck an area 117 miles (about 187 kilometers) east-northeast of downtown Los Angeles Friday evening, but there was no immediate report of injuries or damage, authorities said.

The temblor struck at 8:18 p.m. local time (1618 GMT) 16 miles (about 26 kilometers) west-northwest of Ludlow, a small town in the Mojave Desert, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The shaking could be felt from San Diego to West Los Angeles.

San Diego County sheriff's Lt. Mike Munsey said he felt his building roll but not shake.

Jeremy Chestnut, 20, who worked at a Dairy Queen and gas station in Ludlow, said the quake was not major, local KTLA News reported.

"The ground was rolling underneath but it was very light," Chestnut was quoted as saying. "I was standing in front of an ice cream machine and it makes the ground shake, too."

The quake "is relatively shallow and if it were located in a more populated area it could be very damaging," USGS seismologist Richard Buckmaster said. "But it's out in the middle of the desert, in the middle of nowhere."

The quake was just a few miles away from where the 7.1 magnitude Hector Mine quake hit in 1999.

(Xinhua News Agency December 6, 2008)

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