A magnitude 6.5 earthquake slammed central California Dec. 22, killing at least two people in Paso Robles and affecting the water supplies for many residents, theSan Francisco Chroniclereported.

Hardest hit was the city of Paso Robles in northern San Luis Obispo County. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger toured the devastated areas Dec. 23, and declared a state of emergency. Divers there were planning to check a reservoir's concrete walls for possible cracks. Officials closed the reservoir and asked the town's 26,000 residents not to irrigate, but said tap water is drinkable, the article said.

However, a boil water alert was issued for another county. Because of water line breaks, Oceano Community Services District and San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department officials have warned people to boil their tap water before drinking it or using it for cooking, the Lompoc Record reported.

This article was summarized from the Water Technology News online newsletter.