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L.A. earthquake: 4.2-magnitude quake hits San Fernando Valley

September 1, 2011 |  2:08 pm

A magnitude-4.2 earthquake shook Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley on Thursday afternoon, with the epicenter just 3 miles north of Sylmar.

The quake was felt as far away as Woodland Hills, Santa Monica and downtown Los Angeles, and felt like a rolling motion for a few seconds in downtown office buildings.

The quake, which hit at 1:47 p.m., was very shallow –- just one-tenth of a mile underground –- which could explain why the quake was felt so widely. A magnitude-2.0 aftershock followed at 1:50 p.m., at a deeper depth of 3.9 miles; followed by a 2.6 quake at a depth of 1.4 miles below the surface.

The epicenter of the first quake was in the Angeles National Forest, north of Sylmar and east of Santa Clarita.


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Map: Location of 4.2.-magnitude earthquake in black brackets. Other small quakes appear in yellow. Source: U.S. Geological Survey

-- Rong-Gong Lin II