Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Magnitude 3.0 Earthquake Felt in Santa Monica and Across Westside

Sharp Jolt felt just after 10:28 pm PST; earthquake centered just NW of SM

An earthquake was felt Monday evening in Santa Monica and across Western Los Angeles County. Residents felt a sharp jolt just after 10:28 pm.

The US Geological Survey says that the minor quake registered a magnitude 3.0 on the Richter scale, and was centered 1.5 miles North West of Santa Monica, California.

The temblor was probably not powerful enough to cause damage or injuries. But it was strong enough to put cats and dogs under beds, and news helicopters up in the air above Santa Monica.

"Felt at the Ambrose Hotel. More like a car hitting the side of the hotel versus rolling like I usually feel." tweeted @TheAimeeCrist

From CalTech Seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones on Twitter: "The Santa Monica fault is one of the sharper faults in LA. Not an unusual place for an earthquake."

"Chance that this is a foreshock is 5%--just like all quakes. Chance it is a foreshock to a big quake is much smaller." Tweeted Jones, adding that 3.0 earthquakes occur every week in California, and are unrelated to the weather.

"Perspective, folks. M3 quakes happen in California every week. The only thing different is the number of people living on top of it." This quake was centered in a densely populated area.

The obvious question is, are these foreshocks of a larger earthquake? Foreshocks are smaller temblors that strike in the days and hours before a moderate-to-large earthquake. Not all earthquakes have foreshocks, and despite decades of effort, seismologists haven't successfully found a way to predict earthquakes using foreshocks.

A foreshock is an earthquake that occurs before a larger seismic event (the mainshock) and is related to it in both time and space. The designation of an earthquake as foreshock, mainshock or aftershock is only possible after the full sequence of events has happened.


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