A magnitude-5.4 earthquake hit the Los Angeles metropolitan area midday
yesterday, the strongest to strike the region in an urban area since the 1994 Northridge
quake. The epicenter was southeast
of LA, two miles from the city of Chino Hills in San Bernardino County. Chino Hills lies near the San Andreas Fault, which runs from the San
Francisco bay area to south of Temecula, CA. Earthquakes strike often along the system of faults that lies under the
state, due to the movement of tectonic plates. Yesterday’s quake was caused by pressure at the intersection of the Chino and Whittier fault lines. Luckily, Chino Hill’s
infrastructure was constructed with earthquake-resistant technology,
so no serious damage or injury was reported in the area, but skyscrapers swayed
in downtown Los Angeles for several seconds and many buildings were evacuated. Other minor inconveniences occurred as
objects were knocked from shelves, as depicted in this scene at a Chino Hills
grocery store (below).
Image courtesy Washington Post
More than 30 aftershocks followed throughout the afternoon,
leaving residents rattled and wary that a “Big One” could be coming. Seismologists said yesterday that there’s a five
percent chance this quake could be a precursor to a much larger earthquake. There’s a 99 percent chance that California will
experience a quake of magnitude 6.7 or larger in the next 30 years, according
to the Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast, sponsored by the U.S.
Geological Survey, the California Geological Survey and the Southern California
Did any of you feel the earthquake or its aftershocks
yesterday? (The Washington Post reported that some felt it as far away as Las Vegas and San Diego). How do
you think the risk of earthquakes affects life in California?