4.5 magnitude earthquake hits San Gabriel Valley, with shaking felt throughout SoCal

ByABC7.com staff KABC logo
Saturday, September 19, 2020
Earthquake: Dr. Lucy Jones talks about 4.6 quake that rattled SoCal
Seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones talks to Eyewitness News about the 4.6 magnitude earthquake that rattled SoCal Friday night.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.5 rattled Southern California Friday night, hitting near South El Monte with shaking felt in a wide swath of the region.

The USGS says the quake struck less than two miles west-southwest of South El Monte at 11:38 p.m., with a depth of about 10 miles.

Seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones told Eyewitness News the quake was similar in type and location to the deadly 1987 Whittier-Narrows quake which had a magnitude of 5.9. But this one was much smaller in power.

"Here in Pasadena I felt it," Jones said. "It woke me up."

She added that there were at least two aftershocks, measuring 2.1 and 1.6. She also said there is a 5% chance that it was a foreshock to a larger quake.

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There is also about a 50% chance of additional small aftershocks within the next 24 hours, she said.

The earthquake was initially estimated at 4.8, then downgraded to 4.6 and then to 4.5.

A shake map produced by the USGS indicates the rattling was felt south to San Diego, north to Santa Barbara and east well out into the Inland Empire and the Mojave Desert, as well as off the coast on Catalina and Santa Cruz islands.

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ABC7 has compiled a list of items that are important to have in your earthquake kit so that you're prepared for "the big one."

There were no immediate reports of significant damage or injuries, but local police and fire departments said they were on alert and surveying their communities for damage.

Los Angeles International Airport also reported not finding any damage.