Magnitude 4.4 quake jolts LA awake

March 18, 2014 - 7:19:23 am

An employee cleans up hair care products that were knocked off the shelf in a beauty supply store in the Encino area of Los Angeles yesterday.

LOS ANGELES: Los Angeles was jolted awake yesterday by a relatively powerful magnitude 4.4 earthquake, but there were no reports of damage or casualties.

Burglar alarms went off and a few objects fell off shelves after the temblor, which struck just before dawn some 20 miles northwest of the West Coast city.

“I woke up to feel the building swaying from side to side,” Wes Lashley told KCAL 9 news, while local resident Mary Lyon added: “It felt like a 5.9 or 6 to me.”

The temblor was initially estimated as a 4.7 magnitude by the US Geological Survey (USGS), but later downgraded to 4.4. But it felt stronger to many Angelenos. 

Morning news anchors on the local KTLA television station dove under their desk as the quake visibly shook the studio around them.  No disruption was reported at the city’s LAX airport.

USGS seismologist Robert Graves said small aftershocks would likely continue for a few days, while there was a 5 percent chance that the quake was a forerunner to a larger earthquake. 

LA resident Yvonne Villanueva told the KTLA TV station: “I was getting ready in the bathroom and all of a sudden I felt it jolt .. You always have the big one in the back of your head.” The quake was centered 10km northwest of Beverly Hills and struck at 6:25am (1325 GMT). “I woke up to feel the building swaying from side to side,” Wes Lashley told KTLA. 

AFP

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