4.6 magnitude earthquake strikes Malibu area, felt throughout Southern California

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Saturday, February 10, 2024
4.6 magnitude earthquake strikes Malibu area, USGS says
A preliminary-magnitude 4.6 earthquake struck the Malibu area and was felt throughout much of the greater Los Angeles area.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A preliminary-magnitude 4.6 earthquake struck the Malibu area on Friday afternoon and was felt throughout much of the greater Los Angeles area.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter of the earthquake, which struck at 1:47 p.m., was located about 8 miles southwest of Thousand Oaks, and was measured at a depth of 7.5 miles.

"I haven't lived here in 30 years, but it's been that long since I've been in an earthquake," said Kim Martin, who was visiting from Colorado and was in Malibu when the quake hit. "I was here back in the day, but I never wanted to be here for another earthquake. With the rain that happened, now this, I came the worst week."

Where was the earthquake felt across Southern California?

The Los Angeles Fire Department reported that it was "widely felt" in Los Angeles.

ABC7 viewers reported feeling the temblor in Huntington Park, San Bernardino, Lancaster and Costa Mesa. We felt the earthquake strongly at the ABC7 Studios in Glendale.

Were there aftershocks?

Within an hour of the initial earthquake, about 16 aftershocks hit the immediate area, ranging from magnitude 3 to 1.8, according to USGS.

Map shows 15 aftershocks near Malibu area after 4.5 magnitude earthquake. The earthquake hit at 1:47 p.m. on Feb. 9, 2024. The map shows aftershocks that happened through 2:31 p.m.
U.S. Geological Survey

Aftershocks are expected to continue throughout the day. According to seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones, there could be some over the weekend.

"It's looking like a pretty, I would say, robust aftershock sequence," Jones told Eyewitness News.

"They are dying off with time, as we expect, and assuming nothing gets larger, it'll be going on for a few days, maybe there will be something 'over-the-weekend' type of thing. There's always a chance, like 5% chance for every earthquake, that one of the aftershocks will become larger than the first one. Then we'll change the name and call the first one a foreshock, and the second one becomes the main shock."

You can track the aftershocks here.

Is there a tsunami warning due to the earthquake?

"NO tsunami, NO danger from a recent earthquake," U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center said in a social media post shortly before 2 p.m.

Was the Malibu earthquake related to the one that hit Hawaii?

The quake was not related to a 5.7-magnitude earthquake that hit Hawaii's Big Island on Friday, seismologist Lucy Jones said.

What does Dr. Lucy Jones say about the Malibu earthquake?

There was no immediate report of damage or injuries. Jones said the magnitude of the quake was not of a severity that would cause expectations of damage.

She said the epicenter was near what's known as the Malibu Coast Fault.

"That's a fault that comes through the Earth's surface right along the coastline, but then it doesn't go down vertically," she explained. "It dips down under the mountains. In fact, the movement on it is the north part, up and over the south side. It's what's actually growing the Santa Monica Mountains. It's a well-known fault, and it's a part of a system that we've been watching that we just know is there. The fact that it's near a known fault ... most of our earthquakes are."

Southern California started the year with a 4.1-magnitude earthquake about 12 miles south of Rancho Palos Verdes. Then a few days later on Jan. 5, there was a sizeable earthquake near Lytle Creek. Is there any connection between all of this? Dr. Lucy Jones weighs in.

The quake was initially measured at a magnitude of 4.7 before being downgraded, the USGS said.

Anniversary of the Sylmar earthquake of 1971

The Malibu earthquake struck on the 53rd anniversary of the 1971 San Fernando earthquake, which was recorded as magnitude 6.6. Also known as the Sylmar earthquake, it killed 64 people and caused over $500 million in damage.

50 years since the massive Sylmar earthquake rocked the region, first responders and survivors reflect on the terrifying moment and the damage that was left behind.