Magnitude-4.6 Earthquake Strikes Northwest of Malibu, Sending Tremors Across Southern California
A magnitude-4.6 earthquake rattled Southern California early Friday afternoon, originating approximately 7 miles northwest of Malibu in the Santa Monica Mountains. The temblor, occurring just before 2 p.m., set off a series of aftershocks, with the largest measuring magnitudes 3.0 and 2.7, striking within an hour in the same vicinity.
Widespread Shaking Across Southern California
The seismic event was felt throughout the greater Los Angeles area, with reports indicating that as many as 12 million people experienced the shaking. The quake’s impact extended from the coastal regions of LA, Orange, and Ventura counties, including areas such as the South Bay and Long Beach, to inland locations like the San Fernando Valley, downtown LA, Riverside, Irvine, and Anaheim. Additionally, weak to light shaking was reported in parts of north San Diego County.
Eyewitness Accounts: Reaction and Response
Marla Dailey, who was at work in a Thousand Oaks dental office when the earthquake struck, described the experience as a “major jolt.” Despite the initial shock, Dailey noted that both staff and patients remained composed, continuing with dental procedures without incident. Fortunately, there were no immediate reports of significant damage.
Assessment and Monitoring
Following the earthquake, the Los Angeles Fire Department initiated a standard damage survey procedure to assess any potential impacts. Meanwhile, the U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center confirmed that no tsunami had been triggered by the seismic activity.
Fault Line Speculation and Historical Context
Seismologists speculated that the earthquake may have occurred along the Malibu Coast Fault, which traverses the coastline within the Santa Monica Mountains, near communities such as Pacific Palisades, Westwood, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica. Interestingly, the earthquake coincided with the anniversary of the deadly magnitude-6.5 San Fernando earthquake of 1971, which caused significant loss of life and property damage in the region.
Unrelated Seismic Activity in Hawaii
Coincidentally, on the same day, a magnitude-5.7 earthquake struck Hawaii’s Big Island, causing tremors felt as far as 200 miles away on Oahu, including in Honolulu. However, experts clarified that this event was not connected to the seismic activity experienced in Southern California.
As residents and officials continue to monitor the situation, the recent earthquake serves as a reminder of the region’s susceptibility to seismic events and the importance of preparedness and response measures.