Another Aftershock Hits L.A., Damage Limited

The third strongest aftershock to the January earthquake rocked southern California on Sunday, opening up new cracks in a recently repaired freeway and tossing boulders onto a road through Malibu Canyon.

No injuries were reported from the quake, which measured magnitude 5.3 on the Richter scale. One car was struck by a falling boulder in Malibu and a house condemned after the January quake collapsed and slid down a hill.

The quake was centered in the San Fernando Valley, about six miles east of the epicenter of the magnitude-6.7 Northridge earthquake. It struck around 1:20 p.m. and lasted about 30 seconds.

The California Institute of Technology said it was another in the thousands of aftershocks to the Jan. 17 earthquake, which caused 61 deaths and about $20 billion in damage.

``I had just finally started to calm down,'' said Diane Williams, a resident of Van Nuys. ``This one really shook me up.''

New cracks were reported on at least two overpasses on state Highway 118, the Simi Valley Freeway, which was heavily damaged in the January quake, California Highway Patrol Officer Frank Lewis said.

Margie Tiritilli, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Transportation, said the damage was mainly cosmetic and the freeway remained open.

The aftershock was centered near the freeway. It was felt widely in Los Angeles County as well as Orange, Riverside, Ventura, and Santa Barbara Counties.

The quake knocked out power to around 70,000 customers for about an hour, and broke several water lines, said Mindy Berman, a spokeswoman for the city Department of Water and Power.

A suburban strip mall was destroyed in a fire that started when electricity was restored. Fire Battalion Chief Gary Seidel said there was a ``good possibility'' it was quake-related. Suit allowed for bringing TV on raid

A woman and her son can sue authorities who brought a TV show camera crew on a raid of the woman's home, a judge has ruled.

United States District Judge Jack Weinstein said the crew from CBS's ``Street Stories'' had ``no greater right than that of a thief'' to accompany Secret Service and Postal Service agents to the apartment of a man suspected of credit card fraud. The man was not home, but his wife and four-year-old son were.

Tawa Ayeni and her son Kayode sued CBS, the Secret Service, and the Postal Service for emotional distress, violation of privacy, and the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. They are seeking unspecified damages, said their lawyer.

The family settled out of court with CBS last month, Batchelder said. Terms were not disclosed.

The tape of the search was never broadcast and the show is no longer on the air. But the judge noted that the footage filmed by the crew included ``sequences of a cowering mother and child resisting the videotaping'' as the child wept and the mother tried to hide her face and her son's.

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