Southern California Gas Co. expects to have about 500 customers who lost service due to Monday’s earthquake in central California back on line by Wednesday. The quake, a 6.5 magnitude, toppled a couple of buildings and a number of power poles in the town of Paso Robles in San Luis Obispo County.

Service on three SoCalGas distribution lines in the county was interrupted in part by the earthquake itself and partly by residents who shut off their own meters. The center of the quake was in Paso Robles and tremors were felt in San Francisco in the North and Los Angeles in the South.

SoCalGas put out an advisory to customers Monday, telling them not to turn off their gas unless they heard a hissing sound or smelled gas. Once the gas is shut off at the meter, customers were advised not to turn it back on without the help of the gas company or a licensed plumbing or heating contractor. Also, interior gas piping and appliances must be inspected for possible damage before service can be restored, SoCalGas said.

Crews were working Tuesday on repairs to one line running to more remote SoCalGas customers. A leakage survey on about 300,000 feet of pipe in another area so far has turned up no significant problems, company spokesperson Denise King said. “For the most part the system came through very well,” she said. In some areas the company is awaiting an okay from the fire department to go in and restore gas service.

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