The greater Los Angeles area was rattled by a magnitude-4.6 earthquake that originated northwest of Malibu, causing substantial shaking that was felt both along the coast and in inland areas of Southern California. The earthquake was quickly followed by more than a dozen aftershocks, the largest of which ranged between magnitudes of 2.7 and 3.0. Seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones described the aftershock sequence as “very robust” while also noting that the possibility of another, larger seismic event occurring decreased significantly over time. While no major damage was immediately reported, the Los Angeles Fire Department conducted a survey of potential damage and concluded that no tsunami was triggered.
Furthermore, the earthquake was noted to have been felt by potentially 12 million people in areas as distant as LA, Orange, and Ventura counties. In addition, there were reports of weak to light shaking in parts of north San Diego County. This earthquake struck on the same date as the deadly 1971 San Fernando earthquake, which raised fears of a potentially devastating dam collapse and caused widespread damage and loss of life in the San Fernando Valley. On the same day, a magnitude-5.7 earthquake occurred on Hawaii’s Big Island and was felt some 200 miles away in Oahu. This event caused shaking in Honolulu even though it was unrelated to the seismic activity in Southern California.
Marla Dailey, working in a Thousand Oaks dental office, described experiencing the earthquake as a “major jolt” and said it initially left her feeling nervous before continuing with her work. Seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones commented on the possibly active faults in the area as a factor to consider, including the Malibu Coast Fault, which runs near Pacific Palisades, Westwood, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica. Many people reported feeling the quake across a widespread area, prompting advice from experts to be prepared for future seismic activity by stocking up on emergency supplies and creating a plan for any future events.