Los Angeles Earthquake: This One A 5.1 Magnitude


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California just experienced another earthquake after the 6.9 magnitude shook residents near Eureka, CA, March 9th. This time, a magnitude-5.1 earthquake shook the Los Angeles area Friday evening, authorities said.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake struck at about 9:09 p.m. and the epicenter was near Brea in Orange County, which lies about 20 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles. It was felt as far south as San Diego and as far north as Ventura County, according to citizen responses collected online by the USGS.

Although no major injuries or damages were reported, residents described broken glass, gas leaks, a water main break and a rock slide just near the epicenter, which caused a vehicle to overturn, according to Twitter updates.

And the aftershocks keep coming, at least five aftershocks so far, ranging from magnitudes 2.7 to 3.6, according to the USGS. Earlier in the afternoon, a magnitude-3.6 quake hit nearby in the city of La Habra.

Aftershocks are still being recorded by the USGS early on Saturday, nearly 12 hours after the quake struck. But the Los Angeles Fire Department said it had called off its "earthquake mode."

"Fortunately no significant damage occurred in the 470 square mile (756 square km) jurisdiction," the department said.

The quake was felt as far away as Palm Springs in the east, San Diego in the south and Ventura County to the north. While not large, the event "seems unusual, of course, because a lot of people felt it," said Doug Given, a USGS geophysicist.

"These quakes occur in populated areas and people try to put two and two together and predict that something more is coming, but that's simply not the case," he said.

Seismologists said the Friday quake had a five percent chance of being a foreshock to a bigger one, but that possibility diminishes over time.

Callers to KNX-AM reported seeing a brick wall collapse, water sloshing in a swimming pool and wires and trees swaying back and forth. One caller said he was in a movie theater lobby in Brea when the quake struck.

"A lot of the glass in the place shook like crazy," he said. "It started like a roll and then it started shaking like crazy. Everybody ran outside, hugging each other in the streets."

The last earthquake that caused serious damage was the 1994 magnitude-6.7 Northridge quake that killed several dozen people and caused $25 billion in damage.

Image via YouTube