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Series of quakes rocks portion of O.C.

April 24, 2009 7:33:47 AM PDT
A series of earthquakes has rocked a portion of Orange County over the last 12 hours.The most recent was a 3.1-magnitude temblor at 5:06 p.m. Friday. At least six small earthquakes, centered in and around Yorba Linda, have left an impression on residents.

"It was a jolt. It was like really, like if somebody just punched the house," said Liz Mekialski, a local resident.

The first earthquake was a 3.8-magnitude that hit just before 5 p.m. Thursday, prompting Yorba Linda City Hall to evacuate as a precaution.

"It was really big, it was big. It lasted like a couple of seconds, but I thought the house was falling down," said Jack Staav, a local resident.

It was followed by a 4.0-magnitude quake at about 8:30 p.m. and then a 2.6-magnitude quake.

"My husband came running because the house started shaking. It felt like the house had been hit by a car," said local resident Robin Vanasch.

A handful of 1.7-magnitude tremors hit early Friday morning.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quakes most likely originated on the Whittier Fault, a moderately active fault line that runs about 30 miles from eastern Los Angeles County to northern Orange County.

Orange County officials said there were no reports of damage or injury.

USGS seismologist Lucy Jones said its not surprising to have a series of small earthquakes, adding that each quake increases the odds of another quake.

The good news is, according to Jones, the odds of the small earthquakes setting off a larger more damaging earthquake are small -- less than 1 percent.

"We're used to it," said local resident Steve Forell. "It still wakes us up and tells us 'get prepared.'"


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