LOS ANGELES — A shallow magnitude-5.1 earthquake struck the Los Angeles area Friday night, causing minor damage and injuries, scattered power outages, and gas leaks.
The earthquake occurred at 9:09 p.m. at a depth of 4.6 miles and was centered near Brea in Orange County — about 20 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles. It was immediately followed by dozens of aftershocks, including a 3.4 and 3.6 magnitude.
The earthquake was widely felt from northern San Diego County to Ventura County, and residents said shaking was felt for about 10 seconds. The larger quake followed a 3.6 magnitude foreshock that occurred in the same area an hour earlier.
Residents in northern Orange County shared photos of minor home damage, including cracked walls, fallen pictures and broken plates. Water mains were seen broken in nearby streets and a fire department in Fullerton was forced to evacuate over structural damage.
Minor gas leaks were also reported in the communities of La Habra, Fullerton and La Mirada.
“Just about everything in the city that could go wrong is going wrong,” a La Habra Police Department spokesman told KNBC.
Police in Brea reported the earthquake triggered a landslide in Carbon Canyon, causing a car to overturn, resulting in minor injuries to the driver. Southern California Edison reported 2,000 customers were without power in the area.
The Red Cross opened a shelter in the La Habra Community Center for those impacted by the earthquake, the organization said.
“The Los Angeles Police and Fire Departments have conducted an assessment and report no damage in the city,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
USGS officials said at a press conference late Friday there is a 5% chance of a larger earthquake occurring in the area within the next three days. The agency said it received a 4-second warning of the incoming quake from an early warning system it is still testing.
Early indications are that the earthquake is “related to the Puente Hills thrust fault, which caused the Whittier Narrows earthquake back in 1987,” Caltech seismologist Egill Hauksson said. “That may change over time as we look at the data.”
According to The Los Angeles Times, scientists are particularly concerned about the Puente Hills thrust fault because it runs directly underneath downtown Los Angeles.
Seismologist Sue Hough told the paper in 2003, “This is the fault that could eat L.A.”
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