California Earthquake Shakes but Leaves Minimal Damage – Panic Subsides
US Climate and Weather

California Earthquake Shakes but Leaves Minimal Damage – Panic Subsides


California was hit by a plethora of natural disasters on Sunday afternoon, including a rare tropical storm and a growing wildfire near the Oregon border that spread by 2,000 acres overnight. To add to the chaos, an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.1 shook the state around 4.30 pm PST near Ojai, though there were no reports of serious damage or injuries.

Those in Los Angeles, some 60 miles southeast of the epicenter, felt the shaking for a length of time that prompted notice. With Los Angeles and other parts of California already in a state of emergency due to wildfires and storms, the sudden jolt from the earthquake further agitated residents of the Golden State.

Residents in Santa Barbara County experienced a slight jolt of an earthquake with a 3.5 magnitude, according to Jana Pursley, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey. Although felt in much of the county, located about 15 miles from Ojai, there have been no reports of any damage as of yet, said Jackie Ruiz, public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management.

“It’s generally sounding as if people felt the shake and got alerts but no impacts,” noted Ruiz. As earthquakes such as these usually result in minor cracking in walls, one can only hope that the same doesn’t apply here.

On Sunday, local officials were managing several disasters in the area: treacherous levels of rainfall from a tropical storm that were expected to peak between 4 and 10 PM, as well as an ongoing fire in the northern part of the county. “It’s absolutely a busy day,” said Ms. Ruiz.

Though Sunday’s earthquake was described as moderate, its potency still pales in comparison to some of the powerful earthquakes that have wreaked havoc throughout California. For example, the 6.7-magnitude earthquake that hit Northridge in 1994 released 125 times more energy than today’s Ojai earthquake. The Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, which tragically took the lives of more than 60 people in the San Francisco Bay Area, was 253 times stronger.

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