Part of state Route 18 closed after 4.6 earthquake near Big Bear Lake

Quake was felt in San Diego County

SAN DIEGO - Snowplows were dispatched to remove numerous rock slides that closed State Route 18 between Big Bear Dam and Snow Valley, as a magnitude 4.6 earthquake hit the San Bernardino Mountains resort areas and was felt from Mexico to Bakersfield.

At least six vehicles were stranded on the road, including an SUV and three motorcyclists, CHP officers said. There were no initial reports of injuries or damaged cars.

The quake hit at 9:59 a.m. Saturday the epicenter was reported between Big Bear City and Lake Arrowhead, according to automated earthquake sensors. More than 15 aftershocks rattled the mountains in the next hour.

Fifteen minutes after the quake, the CHP closed the road at a section called "The Arctic Circle," a landslide-prone section of road perched both above and below steep, vertical cliffs. It is one of three road accesses to Big Bear.

It was felt as a jolt at the CNS bureaus in Riverside and Palm Springs, and as a slight rumble at the CNS bureau in West Los Angeles. Scattered reports of feeling the quake were also noted by the USGS from Internet users as far south as San Diego.

People in Big Bear City told KNX radio that docks were bobbing up and down in the lake, and that buildings shook and creaked. One reporter said many people initially thought it was another lightning strike, from the overnight thunderstorms.

There was no immediate report of any injuries or damage, according to Riverside County Fire Department.

The preliminary magnitude data came from automated sensors, and was subject to revision by seismologists.

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