San Diego County was lightly shaken Wednesday by a magnitude 3.9 earthquake that broke at 7:19 p.m. roughly 15 miles north-northwest of Borrego Springs, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The temblor originated 8.6 miles below the Earth’s surface, which is normal for Southern California.

“This looks like a garden variety quake on the San Jacinto fault zone, between the Clark and Buckridge strands,” said San Diego State University geologist Tom Rockwell, who felt shaking at his home in La Mesa.

“We have been having something on the order of a 4.5 to a 5.0 on that system at least once a decade for the past 30 years.”


The strike-slip fault system also has generated massive quakes, including a temblor that reached the 7.3 to 7.4 range on Nov. 22, 1800. The event — the first recorded quake in the San Diego region — damaged some missions in San Diego.

“We can’t predict what will happen next, but these quakes are not that unusual,” Rockwell said.

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