Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

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)

All you quake newbies - this was a good solid one but not bad enough to do much damage. You get used to them :) Heck, you will barely feel most of them. We get one about this size maybe once a year or so.

Basic rules: get to a doorway.

Always a good idea to have any tall furniture pieces strapped to the wall. Get earthquake straps at Lowes/Home Depot/Orchard Supply.

My girlfriend and I were eating at Carney's in Studio City. Felt it as a rolling motion that lasted for about 6 seconds.

Felt it in Temecula. Not very strong here. Didn't knock anything off the walls or anything.

Felt it here in Studio City. Ellen - most likely your dog smelled a rattler.

Bellflower- I heard a loud noise first and a little shaking. Jumped outside and saw my house shaking. Trees were moving branches, Freaky !!!

Felt it in central San Diego, but it was short and very mild here.

Felt it here in Brentwood. I'm on the 3rd floor of an apartment building and some things fell. It was a little shock to me. This seemed bigger than a 5.0!

Definately felt it in Torrance. It was short in duration but surprisingly violent. We're used to the relatively gentle swaying caused byfar off quakes. Not too happy to hear of the existence of a "Newport-Inglewood Fault."

Wasn't hefty, but the building did shake for about 8 seconds. Felt it here in West Hollywood, L.A. The aftershock was also present.

I felt it in Encinitas in San Diego County. Very subtle down here.

Felt in Redondo Beach - quite a jolt! Some items fell off of shelves, but thankfully no one was hurt (daughter slept through it) and there was no damage. Just some shaken nerves...

Felt it in Downtown. Building shook for a few minutes. Absolutely was a 5.0.

Felt the earth move something fierce here in Long Beach. The windows shook and made a lot of noise. The telephone lines swayed.. our pet Bird went nuts..

Knocked box off a shelf in Fallbrook.

it shook, it stoped, i was off by .5

Felt it for a good 10 seconds in Monterey Park. Dog didn't bark. Didn't feel the aftershock. I was in China during last year's "big" one where 70k people lost their lives. That was no fun and I'm not ready for another one of those!

Felt it in Central Hollywood. Nothing fell, just heard glasses in the kitchen clink.

North Long Beach - lamps, dishes, bottles, pictures fell, clock fell off wall and broke. All car alarms went off. Hard, sharp jolt.

Carson - Shaking as opposed to jolts - lots of noise as the house rattled and loose objects fell down. Seemed like 15 or 20 seconds.

Did not feel a thing here in Boston...except the Cetlics meldown.

i was reading new moon and then my windows started shaking and i was like... huh? and it took me a sec to process it but i got up and went to the back yard with my dogs

Felt very strong here in Laguna Niguel.

Pretty strong in Norwalk where I was at a Fresh and Easy store. They were cleaning up the wine aisle when I left. I think the shaking was down the aisles though and that helped keep more stuff on the shelves. I cleaned up the few cans knocked down on the aisle I was on, as they never seem to have more than 3 employees in the whole store besides the security guy, and those had their hands full with the wine.

felt in costa mesa

I'm located in Torrance near PCH and Crenshaw, and live on a hillside in a manufactured home.

It was quite a powerful shaker. Immediately strong, and got stronger over the next 5 seconds.

I was headed outside within fewer than ten seconds since it seemed to get stronger. Then it immediately stopped.

Quite a strong feeling temblor.

« | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... 16 17 | »


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: