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4.2-magnitude quake rumbles across Los Angeles

September 1, 2011


LOS ANGELES (AP) — A magnitude-4.2 earthquake and aftershocks rattled nerves across the Los Angeles region Thursday, but there were no immediate reports of damage.

The quake hit around 1:47 p.m. and was centered 24 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. It was followed by more than a half-dozen aftershocks up to magnitude-3. The jolt was felt widely across Los Angeles County including the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys, downtown and to the coast. It was felt as far north as Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert to as far south as Orange County.

No damage or injuries were reported in the Santa Clarita area near the epicenter, said Sgt. Michael Bailey at the local Los Angeles County sheriff’s station.

The quake felt like a rolling motion, Bailey said.

“We felt it here in the station. It was gentle shaking,” he said. “We were right on top of it.”

Pauley Perrette, an actress on the crime drama “NCIS,” tweeted that she felt the quake and aftershocks on the show’s set, which was near the epicenter.

“All is well, lots of equipment shook,” she posted.

Thursday’s quake occurred not too far from two of Southern California’s worst seismic disasters: The 1971 magnitude-6.6 San Fernando quake and the 1994 magnitude-6.7 Northridge quake. Northridge was the last major metropolitan-scale disaster, killing dozens, injuring thousands and causing $25 billion in damage.

Thursday’s quake is not considered an aftershock to either quake because enough time has gone by, said geophysicist Bob Dollar of the U.S. Geological Survey.

“Anywhere in Southern California, particularly in the greater Los Angeles area, we’re capable of having a magnitude-4 type event,” Dollar said.

USGS geophysicist Doug Given said unsecured objects could have fallen off shelves near the epicenter of Thursday’s quake, but he expected little damage.

“It’s not the kind of quake that will break windows or crack walls,” Given said.

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