An earthquake of magnitude 5.3 has strucked in the Southern area of California precisely Los Angeles near the Channel Islands.
The quake occurred just before 12:30 p.m. and was centered south of Santa Cruz Island. According to witnesses and the U.S. Geological Survey, it took place far away as Bakersfield, Palmdale and the city of Orange.
This California Earthquake is regarded as the strongest ever in Southern California because it did not occur on land but on the offshore of the Pacific Ocean. However, no case of injuries or death has been recorded.
Director of the Southern California Earthquake Center at US, John Vidale said “A 5.3 could be damaging if it was right under our feet, “It’s right on the edge of being an earthquake that could be dangerous. It’s a reminder that we need to be ready in the future.”
Vidale continued and revealed the L.A. area feels an earthquake of this magnitude on average about once a year. .
There is a 1-in-20 chance that Thursday’s quake will lead to a larger one in the next few weeks, he said. But, more than likely, smaller aftershocks that may not even be felt will follow, he said.
The quake was too small and too far away from the coast to trigger any tsunami concerns.
“It would never make a wave that you could see,” Vidale said.
But it was large enough to activate the state’s developing earthquake early-warning system.
Vidale said he and colleagues at USC heard beeping 10 to 15 seconds before the quake’s shaking reached their campus.
“We all felt it pretty well. It was small and distinct,” he said. “We heard the warning go off and then we heard the shaking.”
The early-warning system is under development by the USGS and is available only to a limited array of testers, but it is expected that more people will be eligible to test the system later this year.
It works on a simple principle: The shaking from an earthquake travels at the speed of sound through rock — which is slower than the speed of today’s communications systems.
For example, it would take more than a minute for a magnitude 7.8 earthquake that starts at the Salton Sea and travels up the state’s longest fault, the San Andreas, to shake Los Angeles, 150 miles away. An early-warning system would give L.A. residents crucial seconds, and perhaps even more than a minute, to prepare.
The 1994 Northridge quake, at 6.7 magnitude, left at least 60 people dead. A 6.9-magnitude quake in San Francisco five years earlier killed 67 people.
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