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State News

4.6 magnitude earthquake hit the area northwest of Malibu

Los Angeles, California – A 4.6 magnitude earthquake hit the area northwest of Malibu, causing a lot of people to feel the ground shake early on a Friday afternoon. This earthquake took place just before 2 p.m., about 7 miles away from Malibu in the mountains of Santa Monica. Following the initial quake, there were more than a dozen smaller shakes, with the biggest ones being 3.0 and 2.7 in magnitude, happening within an hour in the same location.

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Dr. Lucy Jones, an expert on earthquakes, mentioned that this event had many aftershocks and noted that the chance of this quake being a warning for an even bigger one decreases as time goes on.

People felt the shaking all over the greater Los Angeles area, possibly affecting up to 12 million individuals. The earthquake’s effects reached from the coastlines of LA, Orange, and Ventura counties, including areas like the South Bay and Long Beach, and stretched to inland places such as the San Fernando Valley, downtown LA, Riverside, Irvine, and Anaheim.

Even in some parts of north San Diego County, there was slight shaking felt. Marla Dailey, who was working in a dental office in Thousand Oaks at the time, described the experience as a sudden strong shake. Despite the surprise, everyone in the office realized what was happening, and the dental appointments continued without issue, although it was somewhat unsettling.

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Thankfully, there were no early reports of serious damage. The Los Angeles Fire Department started checking for any damages, which is their usual action after earthquakes of this size.

The U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center confirmed that the earthquake did not cause a tsunami.

In the region, there are multiple known earthquake faults. The recent earthquake might have occurred on the Malibu Coast Fault. This fault lines up along the coast within the Santa Monica Mountains, as explained by Dr. Lucy Jones. This particular fault is close to areas such as Pacific Palisades, Westwood, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica, and it connects with the Santa Monica Fault towards its eastern end.

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Interestingly, this earthquake happened on the anniversary of the devastating 6.5 magnitude San Fernando earthquake in 1971. That significant event caused the deaths of many people, resulted in over $500 million in damages, and sparked concerns over a possible catastrophic dam failure. The quake’s center was in the San Gabriel Mountains’ foothills, north of Los Angeles, but its impact was felt broadly across the San Fernando Valley.

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Additionally, on the same day, Hawaii’s Big Island experienced a 5.7 magnitude earthquake. This quake led to tremors about 200 miles away on Oahu, impacting Honolulu as well. It’s important to note that this seismic event in Hawaii was not connected to the earthquake activity in Southern California.

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