View Mobile Site

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos


Quake, rattle & roll

Quake in Chino Hills

Posted: July 30, 2008 12:46 a.m.
Updated: September 30, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Santa Clarita residents got taken for a ride Tuesday morning when a magnitude 5.4 earthquake centered some 60 miles away sent shock waves throughout the Los Angeles region.

At a depth of about eight miles, the temblor hit at 11:42 a.m. about 2 miles from Chino Hills, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Nearly 30 aftershocks followed, the strongest of which reportedly had a magnitude of 3.8.

Initial reports of a 5.8 shake were downgraded by the U.S. Geological Survey to 5.4 within 45 minutes.

By comparison, the Northridge earthquake on Jan. 17, 1994 was a magnitude 6.7.

Despite the rocking and rolling the quake sent through Santa Clarita Valley, there were no reported injuries or damage.

Locally, Southern California Edison and The Gas Co. reported no interruptions in service or damage to their facilities.

There were no problems at Six Flags Magic Mountain, spokeswoman Sue Carpenter said, and the park remained open through the day.

A few Verizon wireless subscribers noted an interruption in service for about an hour after the quake.

"There was no damage to any of our cellular sites or switch centers, but we did see call volume spike dramatically," Verizon spokesman Ken Muche said.

"No network has infinite capacity, and some call blocking occurred because capacity was maxed out."

Metrolink spokeswoman Denise Tyrrell said commuter trains within a 30-mile radius of the epicenter were slowed to 20 mph until tracks could be cleared by safety inspectors.

"People have forgotten, I think, what earthquakes feel like," said Kate Hutton, a seismologist at the California Institute of Technology. "So I think we should probably look at it as an earthquake drill. ... It's a drill for the ‘Big One' that will be coming some day."

Thomas Heaton, director of the earthquake engineering and research laboratory at Caltech, said Tuesday's earthquake had about 1 percent of the energy of the Northridge quake.

"Any time there is an earthquake in California, there is a five percent chance it's a foreshock," Hutton said during a news conference early Tuesday afternoon.

Within 24 hours, that probability drops to one percent, she said.

The Associated Press reported the quake was felt from Los Angeles to San Diego, across the border in Tijuana, Mexico and as far as Las Vegas.

While most were jolted by the quake, some people apparently didn't notice.

Asked about the shaker, a local Wal-Mart employee asked, "What earthquake?" and reported there was no damage at the store, and that nothing had fallen off shelves.

Signal staff writers Jim Holt, Josh Premako, Tammy Marashlian, Sharon Cotal and Stephen K. Peeples contributed to this report. The Associated Press also contributed to this report.


Most Popular Articles

There are no articles at this time.
Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.


Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...