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Santa Monica Rattled as Temblor Hits Southern California


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By Niki Cervantes
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April 6, 2018 -- A 5.3-magnitude earthquake rocked and rolled through Southern California on Thursday, a nerve-rattling reminder from Santa Monica to Palmdale and Bakersfield and down to Orange County that the Big One, or permutations thereof, could strike at any time.

No major injuries or damages were reported from the temblor, which struck at 12:29 p.m. offshore near the Channel Islands at a depth of about 10 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The USGS said the quake was the strongest in the area in four years.

There was no immediate threat of a tsunami, according to the National Weather Service.

A brief rolling was how some residents characterized the quake. But as experienced as many have become with temblors in earthquake country, some residents still needed to know what they’d felt was what they thought they felt.

“Did anyone feel that?” one woman posted on a local Facebook sight.

Others didn’t feel the quake at all, like Constance Farrell, who was at City Hall at the time.

“I was in City Hall and actually missed it,” said Farrell, the City's public information officer.

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Although the temblor was strong enough to shake trees and even some higher builders elsewhere, in Santa Monica it was not particularly strong, Farrell said.

As a result, the City did not conduct a survey of possible damages, she said.

“We are ensuring people are enrolled in SM Alerts and know about the retrofit program, but surveying is not required at this time,” Farrell said.

The City’s website did include re-tweeting from others seeking to reassure residents about the earthquake.

They included messages from the Red Cross and the Los Angeles Police Department, which was conducting an assessment of the infrastructure and asking residents to keep the lines clear for 911 calls.

L.A.’s Emergency Management Services agency posted #DidYouFeelIt? – “and more importantly, did you drop, cover and hold on?”

And the Fire Department said Thursday’s quake should be a “shake up call,” and a reminder to get “your disaster supplies kit ready!”

The last time Santa Monica experienced a major temblor was in the 1994 Northridge Earthquake.

Although the most intense damage was in the San Fernando Valley, Santa Monica suffered extensive damage, much of it linked to the city’s soft soil and older building stock.

More than 1,600 housing units were damaged, at a cost of $70 million. Both of the hospitals and St. Monica’s Catholic Church required massive rebuilding efforts.

The collapse of parts of Interstate 10 also blocked access to Santa Monica for rescue workers.

One of many seismic headaches for the beach city is the Santa Monica Fault, which runs under the Westside, straddling or parallel to Santa Monica Boulevard through Century City and Westwood before heading west into Brentwood, Santa Monica and Pacific Palisades.

The state says the fault is capable of producing a magnitude 7 earthquake. Experts believe the most recent major earthquake on the Santa Monica fault occurred 1,000 to 3,000 years ago.


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