That was a 4.4 quake under the Santa Monicas*

shakemap-31714.jpgIn USGS speak, the earthquake that just woke up a lot of Los Angeles at 6:25 a.m. was located 9 kilometers north-northwest of Westwood with a preliminary magnitude of 4.7. (6:40 a.m. update: already bumped down to 4.4 and relocated to 2 miles south-southeast of Encino.) That would put it under the Santa Monica Mountains or maybe the south edge of the San Fernando Valley. What do you want a bet a lot of media will just say it was "in Westwood?"

Even at 4.4, it was the largest earthquake in the LA area since a 5.5 magnitude quake under Chino Hills in 2008. Monday's wake-up quake has been followed by six measurable aftershocks, and USGS points out that with any earthquake there is about a five percent chance it was the foreshock to a larger seismic event. There have now been four earthquakes of magnitude 4.0 or larger in California since March 12.

LA Observed earthquakes page

Mayor Eric Garcetti put out a statement on the quake at about 7:45 a.m. If you're going to retain Lucy Jones, may as well use her.

Today's earthquake is a reminder that every L.A. family must be prepared with food, water and other essentials, as well as a plan. While it appears the greatest impact of this temblor was a rude awakening, we are executing our post-earthquake protocols to survey our neighborhoods and critical infrastructure. I have been briefed by my Science Advisor for Seismic Safety, Dr. Lucy Jones, and will continue to monitor the situation.


The Los Angeles Fire Department received no reports of injuries or damage. As a precaution, personnel from all 106 fire stations have deployed into their local communities to survey the neighborhood and critical infrastructure such as hospitals and communications facilities.

DWP reports no main breaks or power outages; DWP crews will inspect infrastructure as a precaution.

Video bonus: KTLA Morning News anchors Megan Henderson and Chris Schauble perform the Shocknek Maneuver and dive under the desk. They come up jabbering ineffectively over each other. Interesting observation a few seconds later by reporter Eric Spillman. He was in Downtown LA and learned about the quake from his colleagues in the studio in Hollywood, then felt it arrive.

Also: Fox 11 anchors stay at their desk, but fail in two main respects. Tony McEwing started referring to it being a "big" quake and speculating that there must be damage because it was so strong. If there's one rule news anchors should follow after a quake, it's do not exaggerate or speculate.

Post updated a few times


More by Kevin Roderick:
Monday Morning Buzz: 3.17.14
That was a 4.4 quake under the Santa Monicas*
The Grim Sleeper serial killer story continues
Update to 'Newman dead' hoax story*
San Francisco has an accent, but itsa fading away
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That was a 4.4 quake under the Santa Monicas*
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