Sunday, May 17, 2009
Moderate quake rocks Los Angeles area
LOS ANGELES – A moderate earthquake rocked the Los Angeles region late Sunday, but there were no immediate reports of any major injuries or damage.
The magnitude-5.0 quake hit at 8:39 p.m., about 10 miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles, near Inglewood, according to a preliminary report by the U.S. Geological Survey. At least two aftershocks shook the area minutes later, including the largest at magnitude-3.1.
The quake jiggled the greater Los Angeles region and was felt as far south as San Diego, said USGS seismologist Susan Hough.
"This was a serious jolt. It was probably felt within 100 miles," Hough said.
There were no reports of any damage at Los Angeles International Airport. The Los Angeles Fire Department got plenty of calls, but none to report any major injuries, said spokesman Brian Humphrey.
Tom Oswalt, 46, said he was packing clothes for a business trip at his home in Long Beach when the shaking started.
"First thing I thought was 'Is this the big one?' It was pretty powerful," he said. "My first thought was to get out of the building, get my dog and get out of the building. Now we're just waiting for aftershocks."
Hough said there will likely be more aftershocks in the "threes, maybe a four," but only a five percent chance of a larger quake.
"People should be on their toes," she said.
It's the largest quake in the greater Los Angeles area since a magnitude-5.4 quake struck Chino Hills July 29, 2008.