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4.4 Quake Rolls Through Los Angeles

| March 17, 2014
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U.S. Geological Survey map of citizen reports of Monday morning's earthquake in Los Angeles (click for interactive version).

U.S. Geological Survey map of citizen reports of Monday morning’s earthquake in Los Angeles (click for interactive version).

Update 7:25 a.m.: As one member of our Facebook audience hastens to remind us, this morning’s Los Angeles earthquake “was not Loma Prieta, folks.” True enough. Yet people tend to pay attention when the ground beneath their feet begins to move.

Here’s the summary of L.A.’s St. Patrick’s Day Quake: A shallow 4.4-magnitude earthquake — that’s crith talún* in Irish, by the way — centered 6 miles north-northwest of Westwood and 6 miles northwest of Beverly Hills shook the city at 6:25 a.m. It was felt most strongly in the western side of the L.A. basin and in the San Fernando Valley, though reports of shaking came in from as far away as Adelanto in San Bernardino County. There have been no reports of injuries or damage, though the shake reportedly lasted between 10 and 15 seconds. That’s long enough to be seriously unsettling. Loma Prieta (which this wasn’t, remember) lasted 17 seconds. One tends to remember. The U.S. Geological Survey reported a 2.7 aftershock at 7:23 a.m.

Here’s the best summary we’ve seen of the St. Patrick’s Day Quake, by way of the Los Angeles Times:

California Highway Patrol Officer Monica Posada said there were no reports of any immediate problems on the freeways because of the earthquake. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and County Fire Department also said there were no reports of immediate damage.

“We did our initial survey and it was felt only. No reports of any damage,” said County Fire Supervisor Michael Pittman.

Stacey Dirks, the 25-year-old assistant manager at Noah’s New York Bagels in Westwood, was at work at the time and said “it just felt like a sudden shake, it was just like rapid and quick.”

No bagels fell off the shelves and “everything stayed in place,” Dirks said.

Joe Ramallo of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said that as of 6:45 a.m. there were no reports of water main breaks or power outages immediately following the earthquake. But he said crews are conducting routine safety checks after the quake to ensure their durability.

*Crith talún is pronounced “kree tah-loon.”

Original post: The U.S. Geological Survey reports — and Los Angeles media outlets confirm — that a 4.4-magnitude earthquake lasting as long as 15 seconds shook the state’s largest city Monday morning. The earthquake occurred at 6:25 a.m. and was centered in Westwood, the home of UCLA. We’ve heard no early reports of damage or injuries.

More to come.

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Category: Science

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About the Author ()

Dan Brekke has worked in media ever since Nixon's first term, when newspapers were still using hot type. He had moved on to online news by the time Bill Clinton met Monica Lewinsky. He's been at KQED since 2007, is an enthusiastic practitioner of radio and online journalism and will talk to you about absolutely anything. Reach Dan Brekke at dbrekke@kqed.org.

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