Oct 21, 2012 8:57 PM by Hope Hanselman, KSBY News

Earthquake rattles Central Coast, does not threaten nuclear power plant

The US Geological Survey says a 5.3 magnitude earthquake centered near King City hit just before midnight last night.

People throughout the Central Coast reported feeling the quake as far South as Goleta.

According to the USGS, a magnitude 5 quake is capable of doing small amounts of damage, but by the time the shockwaves hit Northern San Luis Obispo County, it was much less powerful.

Still, with a nuclear power plant nearby, the earthquake shook up a few concerns.

"The first thing I said was, 'oh my gosh we're having an earthquake,'" Rebekka Day said about the surprise that hit in the middle of her bartending shift at Pappy McGregor's in Paso Robles Saturday night. "My heart just started racing, we grabbed each other."

California may be earthquake country, but few people are prepared for the occasional shake.

"I've lived in California for seven years, it was the first earthquake I've ever actually felt," Ian Czora, of Paso Robles, said.

The USGS survey shows North San Luis Obispo County felt the strongest vibrations.

At the bar where Rebekka was working, people could see the lights swinging.

But, even if you didn't feel the quake Saturday night, it would be hard to miss the aftershocks it left all over facebook. People reported feeling movement from Santa Barbara County and South San Luis Obispo County, including the Diablo Canyon Power Plant.

"We did feel slight ground motions in the control room around midnight," Blair Jones, PG&E spokesperson, said.
PG&E representatives declared an unusual event at the plant. It's a precaution for operators to check equipment, which showed no damage.

"We have two units at the site," Jones said. "Both units continue to operate safely and at 100% power. There were no impacts on our site.'

In the heart of earthquake country, Diablo Canyon could potentially feel shakes from four different fault lines.
Jones says the facility is capable of withstanding an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.5. That design is based off the potential of an earthquake off the Hosgri Fault, which is located several miles offshore. Geologists say that fault could produce an earthquake as strong as 7.5.

To check on conditions of the power plant at any time, click here .



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