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Jewish property unhurt in L.A. earthquake

The Israeli consulate general in Los Angeles was evacuated during an earthquake.

The moderately strong earthquake of 5.4 magnitude rattled much of Southern California shortly before noon on Tuesday.

“We were quite shook up since most of the Israelis had never experienced such an earthquake,” said deputy consul general Yaron Gamburg.

The quake lasted about 20 seconds, with the epicenter about 30 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles. Shocks were felt as far south as San Diego and as far east as Las Vegas.

The headquarters of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, two blocks from the Israeli consulate, sustained no damage and was not evacuated, said spokeswoman Jordan Silverman. There were no reports of damage or injuries at other Jewish institutions.

Workers and day campers at Temple Beth Israel in Pomona Valley evacuated the building during the earthquake. No one was injured.

Beth Israel administrator Art Beckerman says that the building sustained “no visible damage,” but said that an inspection by an engineer would be required to assess any structural damage.

Other synagogues close to the epicenter, such as Temple Ami and Chabad Inland Empire, are reporting no injuries or damage.

Sue Morris, an administrator with Temple Ami Shalom in West Covina, described the shaking as stronger and lasting longer than any earthquake she had experienced before. “We were a little scared,” she said. “The doors on the ark opened up, but luckily the scrolls are tied in.”

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