Employee Gilbert Perez cleans up broken bottles of hot sauce at a supermarket in Palm Springs after a 5.4 earthquake rattled the shelves Wednesday

Employee Gilbert Perez cleans up broken bottles of hot sauce at a supermarket in Palm Springs after a 5.4 earthquake rattled the shelves Wednesday (Photo: Marilyn Chung / The Desert Sun / July 7, 2010)

LOS ANGELES -- A strong earthquake hit Southern California at 4:53 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.

The magnitude 5.4 quake was centered 28 miles south of Palm Springs near Borrego Springs, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

It was initially reported as a magnitude-5.9 but later downgraded.

A Los Angeles County sheriff's spokeswoman said there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

Residents reported feeling the quake across a wide area from the Mexican Border to Ventura County.

There were reports that items fell off shelves in the Palm Springs area, but no major damage was reported.

Residents said the quake felt like a rolling motion and lasted about 15 seconds in the desert areas.

Darwin Weeks, who lives in Palm Springs, told KTLA he felt an initial sharp jolt. Paintings fell off the walls and glasses tumbled out of shelves.

Caltech Seismic Analyst Anthony Guarino said preliminary information indicates that the quake was on the San Jacinto fault, one of two that was stressed by the 7.2-magnitude quake near the U.S.-Mexico border on Easter.

Structures in Palm Springs would likely see some damage, cracked masonry and plaster, Guarino said.

At least a dozen aftershocks have been recorded, with the largest measuring magnitude-3.6. Guarino said such seismic activity is not completely surprising given the quake on Easter in Southern California.

"We knew that the stress increased on both of those faults. You can't predict earthquakes, but the statistics said there would be an increased chance of this happening," he said.

According to researchers, the quake near Borrego Springs was related to the powerful Easter Day temblor, but was not an aftershock.