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A strong, rolling earthquake rumbled through the desert east of Los Angeles before dawn Sunday, alarming people in three states. There were no immediate reports of injuries. It caused several buildings to collapse in desert communities, touching off fires.

A preliminary magnitude report from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena said the quake measured 7.4 on the Richter scale.

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It was centered in the desert between Joshua Tree and San Bernardino about 100 miles east of Los Angeles in the same area where a 6.1 quake hit April 22, seismologists said. The quake hit at 4:58 a.m.

The quake was felt 330 miles away in Phoenix, and as far south as San Diego, and as far north as Bakersfield.

The quake was a combination of shakes and rolls and lasted about half a minute, witnesses said.

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