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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)

I definately felt the quake here in San Marcos (North San Diego County). I was surprised nothing fell.

We felt it pretty good here in Long Beach. I have no idea how long it went on. Seemed like it was at least 15 seconds down here. Lost a few picture frames and had a bunch of books fall of shelves. Also a few new cracks to our apartment but nothing too horrible.

Pretty significant jolt here in Palos Verdes Estates. Usually we are isolated from shocks in the valley, but this one was quite a sharp jolt followed by another that rocked us for a good 5sec. Sharp jolt followed by some rocking. Hope all OK !!!

Felt it here in Redondo Beach, thought the whole apartment building was going to fall in on me. Short lived, but definitely enough to get the heart rate up.

Felt it in Thousand Oaks for sure.

Felt very big here in Redondo Beach, three vases broke and everything was shaking and falling to the floor. I actually screamed and had to duck and cover. Adrenaline still rushing...

It was crazyyyyyyyyy!!!

Earthquake/Newport Beach -- we were in the condiments aisle at Vons and the mayo flew off the shelf! Scary!!!!!! My daughter and I coul hear things shattering in other aisles. We ran to the end of the aisle 10 and Dr. neighbor came shooting out of aisle 11 -- she said, "Wow, there's going to be a BIG aftershock!" The plate glass windows were billowing. No where to run to / no where to hide..... we ran to checkout and came home. I still need relish -- that's what I went there for to begin with!!!!!!!!

Good God, no wonder the Times is in trouble. Does their official blogger know any grammar rules at all?

I was in a tub in a hotel in Barrio Logan in San Diego and I felt water swish and building shake a tiny bit. I thought it was a large truck or train, but realized soon it was a quake. Pretty cool!

Miracle Mile: A bump and then - just as i was getting up to see what fell - a really big shaker, but short. The whole house shook and rattled, with accompanying sounds, for five or six seconds.

I have t-mobile and I've been getting "no service" since the quake (I'm in Hawthorne). It's not just that the lines are busy, I'm not getting any signal. Nevermind, it just came back. But it was down for about 40 min.

Felt in Rancho Penasquitos, San Diego for about 15 seconds pretty strong.

Felt it in Leucadia!

Ha ha! Felt pretty big in the movie theater...I laugh cuz everyone stated in thier seats. Scarried, but we all stayed watching the new Xmen! Gotta love Californias!!!

felt it in here Los Angeles, Wilshire blvd inside of the office building, CA 90010, around 8:39p.m. for 5-10 sec and 8:44p.m.for 2 seconds. First one was remarkably shaking, really visible, but no damage, second one was just minimal sensation...hope no more

Felt like my dog scratching an inch on the bed, but the dog wasn't on the bed.

Encinitas. Interesting that so many felt it 100+ miles down the coast. That's unusual for a 5.0.

We felt a little jolt up here in Oxnard.

felt it in Marina Del Rey, strongest i've ever experienced. loud noise, shaking

It was pretty strong in belmont showr. It interupted my watching Survivor finale. That show rocks too

Dang, I was in the elevator at the time of the quake, didn't feel a thing.

Felt it fairly strong out here in Redlands. It lasted about ten seconds. I was on the second floor of my home and everything rattled pretty good.

felt it in here Los Angeles, Wilshire blvd inside of the office building, CA 90010, around 8:39p.m. for 5-10 sec and 8:44p.m.for 2 seconds. First one was remarkably shaking, really visible, but no damage, second one was just minimal sensation...hope no more

Felt it in 92103 (central San Diego). Quite mild, just rattled the windows and swayed a bit, but lasted a little longer than usual.

Live in north Oceanside, San Diego county. My cats were crazy for 10 minutes before, strong shaking for at least 10 seconds, ficus plant leaves were shaking. Sitting in chair felt like someone trying to push you out of chair !Another shaking right on top of first, maybe 3 seconds.

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