LOS ANGELES — A magnitude-5.4 earthquake centered in San Diego County shook buildings across the Southland yesterday afternoon, but there were no reports of damage or injuries in the Los Angeles area.
According to the United States Geological Survey (USCS), the quake struck at 4:53 p.m., and it was centered 13 miles north-northwest of Borrego Springs in San Diego County.
The temblor was felt strongly in downtown San Diego, and it rattled buildings in the Coachella Valley in Riverside County. It also rattled structures in West Los Angeles, West Hills, Hollywood and Palmdale.
There were no reports of any damage or injuries, according to the Los Angeles city and county fire departments. The Orange County Fire Authority also reported that there were no injuries or damage from the quake.
Officials at Los Angeles International Airport said the airport was operating normally, with no reported flight disruptions. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power reported that it had no impacts from the quake, and no known disruptions in water and power service. Southern California Edison also reported no outages.
Metrolink train service was also unaffected.
USGS seismologist Kate Hutton told reporters at Caltech in Pasadena that the quake likely occurred in the San Jacinto fault zone, and it was followed by about two dozen small aftershocks, the largest a magnitude-3.6.
She said the quake was likely not an aftershock to the magnitude-7.2 temblor centered near the Mexican border that rattled much of Southern California in early April.
“This earthquake, probably, although it’s pretty close in time after the April earthquake, it’s probably not an aftershock, because it’s located in a different location,” Hutton said. “But it probably is what we would call a triggered earthquake, because we’re now thinking that the 7.2 earthquake in April changed the strain slightly in the San Jacinto fault area and the Elsinore fault area, and it increased the number of small earthquakes that were happening there. And this is an example of an earthquake that’s like that.”
Hutton said residents should take today’s quake as a warning to be prepared for future temblors.
“The best way for people to look at this earthquake is that it’s a drill,” she said. “… If this one had been the big one, what would I have done? Would I have been prepared? Would I have had my supplies, my plan and all that? … So review everything, check your kit, because we can’t predict earthquakes, we don’t know when they’re going to happen, so we have to be prepared all the time.”