Earthquake rattles Los Angeles area

Earthquake rattles Los Angeles area

Los Angeles : CA : USA | Jan 03, 2014 at 12:40 PM PST
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Los Angeles to Long Beach Metro trip

A minor earthquake on Friday caused thousands of Los Angeles-area residents to take to their computer keyboards and cell phones to report the rolling land under their feet.

The 11:48 a.m. was measured at 3.1 on the Richter Scale, according to an emailed alert from the U.S. Geological Survey.

The size of the earthquake was not enough to cause any damage but enough to rattle a few nerves.

Epicenter was about five miles below the surface of the earth at 33.987N 118.462W; basically centered at Marina del Rey, and two miles southeast of Santa Monica, four miles west-southwest of Culver City and four miles north-northwest of El Segundo.

The earth shook in areas representing 53 postal zip codes, according to the USGS.

Earthquakes are common in Southern California, and have been recorded since settlers began writing their experiences several centuries ago.

One of the area's biggest wake-up calls was long ago, in 1933.

"The Long Beach earthquake of March 1933 eliminated all doubts regarding the need for earthquake resistant design for structures in California," according to USGS historical records. "Forty million dollars property damage resulted; 115 lives were lost. The major damage occurred in the thickly settled district from Long Beach to the industrial section south of Los Angeles, where unfavorable geological conditions (made land, water-soaked alluvium) combined with much poor structural work to increase the damage. At Long Beach, buildings collapsed, tanks fell through roofs, and houses displaced on foundations. School buildings were among those structures most generally and severely damaged. The epicenter was offshore, southeast of Long Beach, on the Newport - Inglewood Fault. Magnitude 6.3."

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Los Angeles earthquake
A minor earthquake was recorded Jan. 3, 2014 in the Los Angeles area. (USGS map)
Michael McGuire is based in Turlock, California, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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