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4.7 quake near LAX is felt across wide area


A 5.0 earthquake struck southeast of Los Angeles International Airport this evening, causing significant shaking across Southern California. [Update: Quake was downgraded to 4.7.]

The temblor hit about 8:30 p.m. a mile from the South Bay community of Lennox. 

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, but authorities said they were receiving numerous calls about the temblor.

A 3.0 aftershock occurred a few minutes later near Lennox.

Check out the USGS quake map.

Update at 8:58 p.m.: The temblor started about 8.4 miles below the surface, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Residents in the Lennox area said china fell off shelves, but there were no reports of more serious damage. The Los Angeles Fire Department is on "emergency quake mode" as a precaution.

It's unclear what fault the quake struck on. The Newport-Inglewood fault, which has produced several powerful temblors, runs through that general area.

Updated at 9:10 p.m.: An initial assessment by the Los Angeles Fire Department found "no major structural damage, no serious injuries," according to spokesman Brian Humphrey's Twitter feed. 

Updated at 9:20 p.m.: At the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lennox station, deputies said the shaking was brief but intense. "It was pretty strong but over in about 10 seconds," said Lt. Kent Wegener. "There are no [immediate] reports of damage. At this point, we are checking all the critical facilities and getting our ducks in a row." 

Los Angeles County Fire officials also said they had not received damage reports in residential or industrial areas, including the coastal refineries.

Update at 9:35 p.m.:KCAL interviewed moviegoers at a shopping mall in Redondo Beach who said the quake shook the screen and caused some ceiling tiles to fall. But firefighters said there was no serious damage or injuries. KCAL also reported numerous burglar alarms going off and some people cutting themselves on glass.

Updated at 9:50 p.m.: In Hawthorne, firefighters were called to Chadron Avenue, near Crenshaw Boulevard, where a light pole was damaged during the earthquake. One man also suffered a heart attack, but it was unclear whether that was connected. “Luckily, nothing major so far,” said Hawthorne Police Lt. Michael Ishii.

The earthquake was “a bit deep,” said U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Susan Hough – originating 8.4 miles below the surface. “That tends to make it less sharp – less of a jerky, abrupt motion,” Hough said. As a result, most of the region felt the quake largely as a rolling motion, though some closer to the center felt more of a jolt.

Lucy Jones, seismologist at the U.S. Geological Survey, said  the earthquake appears to be consistent with a rupture on the Newport-Inglewood fault. (She said the quake was too small to break the surface, so they can't definitively identify faults.) Jones said this fault isn't typically thought to be capable of producing a major quake like the San Andreas fault. But it was responsible for the 1933 Long Beach earthquake, which measured about 6.3 in magnitude. The Long Beach quake was about as big as seismologists expect from this fault, she said.

"There have been numerous magnitude 3s on it over the years, a cluster of them in the 1980s," she said. "In general, it's an active area."

The quake was initially logged as a magnitude 5 by automatic sensors, but as more data came in, seismologists downgraded it to a magnitude 4.7. It also had an aftershock with a magnitude 3.1 about six minutes later. So far, Jones said, 12,000 people have reported feeling the shaking, including some people in San Diego. She was not surprised at the number of people reporting because the quake shook a pretty densely populated area.

Nothing about the quake or its aftershocks looked unusual, she said. "It’s a real garden variety California earthquake so far."

 What’s notable about it is location with respect to people.

She said the most similar earthquake to this one was a temblor that shook the Inglewood area in 1920, and that one was classified as a "minor damaging shock."

--Shelby Grad, Scott Gold, Jia-Rui Chong and Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Employees of a Starbucks at Hawthorne and Artesia Boulevards clean up broken glass that shattered on the floor and reportedly injured one person who was taken to a nearby hospital. (Jay Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
Comments () | Archives (412)

Didn't feel it in Valencia

Hard jolt and noticable aftershock.
No damage here in El Segundo.

Second floor apartment in very old building- it held up well!

I recieved a call from the airport- felt there big-time!

Marina del Rey; we're on liquefaction, not nice at all! The townhouse shook and would not stop, things slid off tables and a chair actually fell over. Car alarms went off too. It sounded like a roaring train for five minutes. Why they build condos in places like this is incomprehensible. High density building with earthquakes is a recipe for disaster.

Felt quake in Acton. Not too strong.


Felt it, two slides, south'n north; others in house did not notice (due to the Lakers game beers I assume)

I'm in Norwalk. My house shook for several seconds, just long enough for me to be scared and to terrify my cats. I moved to CA in '06 so it was my second one, my fiirst being the one last July.

I felt it pretty good in Whittier. No damage in my place.

I felt it... I live in Palm Springs.. Nothing big, but as i was sitting in my bed, I felt the bed sway and the fan move a little. Always a weird feeling...

time to wake up. this is GOD warning us. and telling us to turn to him and realize his favors on us and be thankful to him

Didn't feel a thing in Portland Oregon. Just wanted to join in.

I felt it right away in my San Diego house on the 2nd story. I yelled earthquake to my partner. It was a rolling motion for a few seconds here. My partner did not feel it on the 1st floor.

We were in the car when we felt it... It took us about 10 seconds to figure out that it was an earthquake.. haha We thought somebody was shaking the car. It lasted about 15 seconds. (Orange CA)

Quite a jolt and then shaking for about 5 seconds here in Laguna Hills. But nothing compared to the 1989 Loma Prieta quake, which will probably end up being the "Big One" in my lifetime.

In South Pasadena, I only noticed a poster rattling against the wall. That happened the last time there was an earthquake with an epicenter not close to me, so I took note, and turned on the tv news & www.latimes.com to see what was going on.

I felt it. It felt like an earthquake. I live in Los Angeles. The room I was in shook. I was drinking a peach ice tea and the liquid in the drink shock and the ice made a rattling noice. The peach ice tea was really more of a juice than an ice but it was really refreshing. I was thinking that maybe tomorrow I'll get another one but they cost 2.95 cents for a small and 3.25 for a large so it's really a much better vaule to get the large but if you think about it 3.25 for a drink is expensive if you get it everyday. That's over a thousand dollars in peach ice tea a year. But then I again maybe I would get tired of the peach ice tea and drink for a year. Nonetheless, it's something to consider, especially because I could buy a nice hd tv for the same price of just forgoing peach ice tea for a year. So yeah, I felt the earthquake.

I just moved here from Arizona and now i'm living in Torrance. It was so scary, stuff fell over and off the walls, my cat freaked out, and it seemed kind of long. Anyone else near the area - I hope you are safe. So I think i'm moving out of CA asap!

Felt here in Long Beach, CA it was so strong, I'm with my Mom at our kitchen and we're looking on the ceiling fan while it's shaking So scary. . .

Felt it in Los Feliz. Very mild though.

At first I just thought somebody was in the house, who broke in from from the window upstairs. I thought I was going to die since I was the only one home, and I thought those robbers were going to hurt me and I would probably stay in and confront them.

Then the shaking continued and continued and I thought these robbers are heavy, big, and/or overweight, hearing all the noise from the downstairs kitchen. I couldn't understand why the plant on the table kept shaking. Then I stayed calm knowing it was an earthquake, as the realization subtly popped into my mind.

I like turtles!

I hate earthquakes.

i had just hit a Bingo on my computer game when BOOM earthquake, ha ha

never felt and quake like that this is my second one to feel

Felt it in Carmel Valley, San Diego. Sharp but brief, heard window frames creak.

2 floor complex near 22 and 55, strongly felt roughly fifteen seconds after I woke up from nap.

Too bad it wasn't a 8.0. We need to shake off some of the crazy's from the LA landscape

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