This story was last updated at 10:33 a.m. Monday.
Small earthquakes continue to shake the Brawley area this morning after moderate quakes struck on Sunday.
No injuries have been reported, but according to KESQ, 20 mobile homes have been knocked off thier foundations and declared uninhabitable.
The most noticable quakes shook the Coachella Valley on Sunday, the strongest of which came in a swarm at 12:30 p.m. The largest quakes were felt from Orange County and San Diego east into Arizona. They were described locally as a gentle rolling motion.
Preliminary computerized USGS reports had indicated that three quakes larger than magnitude 5.3 had rattled out from Brawley at 12:30. That was later resolved by seismologists to be two quakes, magnitude 5.3 and 4.9, CalTech seismologist Lucy Jones told City News Service.
A magnitude 5.4 quake struck at 1:58 p.m.; while a 4.9 magnitude quake hit at 9:41 p.m.
According to the Los Angeles Times, there has been minor damage to some older buildings in downtown Brawley. Capt. Jesse Zendejas of the Brawley Fire Department described the damage as "cosmetic" and said it occurred in at least three buildings dating to the 1930s.
Some buildings were evacuated in Brawley. "It's pretty bad, we had to evacuate the hotel just for safety,'' said Rowena Rapoza, office manager at the Best Western Hotel there.
The quakes were felt over all of San Diego, Riverside and Imperial
counties, and in Yuma and La Paz counties in Arizona, according to a USGS
This comes after a series of smaller earthquakes earlier Sunday morning in the same area.
"What we're seeing is a classic Brawley seismic swarm,'' Jones told CNS. "We haven't seen one of these since the 1970s, and there was another one back in the 1930s.''
USGS reports indicated a magnitude 3.9 quake hit near the southern end of the Salton Sea at 10:02 a.m., and was followed by a 3.4 quake about 90 seconds later. magnitude 2.2 and 2.0 quakes followed within six minutes of the first shock.
The morning quake cluster was centered 3 miles north-northwest of
Brawley, about 16 miles north of El Centro and 45 miles southeast of Indio.
In the one hour after the first earthquakes, an additional 11 quakes
struck the same approximate epicenter near the Salton Sea. Three other small
quakes were also recorded at other epicenters within 5 miles of Brawley.
All these quakes come after some valley residents were awakened by a magnitude 3.2 quake at 2:53 a.m. The overnight quake was centered 11 miles north-northeast of Indio.
Jones said the Brawley quake swarm was about midway between fault complex on the west side of the Imperial Valley, and the main branch of the San Andreas Fault, which runs from near Palm Springs to enter Mexico just west of Yuma.
"These don't seem to be related to earthquakes on the San Andreas
itself, other than in a general way,'' she said. "It's pretty far away.''
Jones says she expected the quake swarm "to continue to bubble along,
they're going to get a bunch of 4s and 5s.''