Magnitude 5.1 Earthquake Rattles Los Angeles, Southern California

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck suburban Los Angeles on Friday evening.

Los Angeles was hit by a magnitude 5,1 earthquake on Friday evening. Photo: Navymailman/Flickr

The strong earthquake shook practically the whole region shortly after 9 p.m. PT. The USGS said the epicenter was one mile from Brea, 20 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, and three miles from Rowland Heights and Fullerton. Southern California Edison reported power outages to nearly 2,000 customers following the quake.

“Tonight’s earthquake is the second in two weeks, and reminds us to be prepared,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a written statement released about an hour after the earthquake.

Garcetti also admitted that the city’s police and Fire Departments had conducted all the necessary assessment and found no damage within the city limits. A Los Angeles police spokeswoman also reported no damage or injury.

The quake was felt as far away as Palm Springs in the east and Ventura County to the north, Reuters writes.

In Anaheim, Disneyland was forced to shut down park rides and asked guests to remain seated. In Fullerton several water mains ruptured, spilling water into the streets and forcing police to divert traffic.

Geologists at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena told reporters that the temblor was shallow, at a depth of only 1.2 miles.

“We have to analyze that to make sure of the exact depth but it is relatively shallow,” said Robert Graves of CalTech. “Earthquakes in California tend to be deeper than that so it’s a little bit anomalous.”

Tom Connolly, the resident of La Mirada, the next town over from La Habra, said the magnitude-5.1 quake lasted about 30 seconds.

“We felt a really good jolt. It was a long rumble and it just didn’t feel like it would end,” he told reporters by phone. “Right in the beginning it shook really hard, so it was a little unnerving. People got quiet and started bracing themselves by holding on to each other. It was a little scary.”

Callers to KNX-AM said that they saw a brick wall collapse, water sloshing in a swimming pool, and trees swaying, The USA Today reports.

“Tonight’s earthquake is the second in two weeks, and reminds us to be prepared,” said L.A. Mayor Garcetti. “The Los Angeles Police and Fire Departments have conducted an assessment and report no damage in the City.”

U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Jones at CalTech in Pasadena said that the 5.1 magnitude quake has a 5% chance of being a foreshock of an even larger quake. “There could be even a larger earthquake in the next few hours or the next few days,” she said.

Preliminary data showed that Friday’s shake was seen near the Puente Hills thrust fault, which stretches from the San Gabriel Valley to downtown Los Angeles and caused the 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake, Jones said.

“It’s a place where we’ve had a lot of earthquakes in the past,” she explained.

Southern California has not seen a damaging earthquake since the 1994 magnitude-6.7 Northridge quake killed several dozen people and caused $25 billion in damage.

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