Cleanup Continues After La Habra Earthquake, Aftershocks

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As residents and crews continued to clean up and repair damages caused by a series of earthquakes in Orange County over the weekend, the effects of it were still being felt Monday.

The largest of the quakes, a magnitude-5.1, hit at approximately 9:09 p.m. Friday and was centered 1 mile east of La Habra at depth of 4.6 miles, according to the United States Geological Survey.


Fanning Elementary School was closed Monday, March 31, 2014, as district staff worked to assess its safety following a 5.1 quake. (Credit: KTLA)

The temblor caused power outages, ruptured water mains and structural damages to homes and businesses, primarily in the areas of Fullerton, La Habra and Brea.

It also forced dozens of residents out of their home, and while many were allowed to return to their residences after the evacuations, six homes remained red-tagged as of Monday morning, authorities said,

In Fullerton, a total of 83 residents were evacuated, according to police.

The majority of them lived at an apartment complex in the 2700 block of Associated Road that sustained damages in Friday’s earthquake. They were allowed to return to their homes Saturday night.

About 19 people in Fullerton remained displaced as of Sunday morning, authorities said.

The quake also triggered a rock slide on Carbon Canyon Road in Brea that caused a car to overturn, according to the Brea Police Department.

The road remained closed on Monday morning, and was expected to remain so until at least Wednesday, police said.

Some schools were also impacted the quake.

Fanning Elementary School in Brea was closed Monday as district staff assessed the site to ensure its safety for students, according to a statement from the Brea Olinda Unified School District.

It was not expected to open for another two weeks, said Yvonne Seal, an executive assistant with the district.


A house was taped off in Fullerton as a result of the 5.1 earthquake that hit on Friday, March 28, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

The earthquake rattled a t-bar in a ceiling loose, affecting a few classrooms, Seal said.

Officials were concerned whether asbestos was present and creating health hazards in the school as a result, according to Seal. She added that the school underwent an encapsulation treatment several years ago to avoid asbestos exposure, and there was concern it may have been undone by the damage caused by the temblor.

Fanning childcare would be relocated to Mariposa Elementary School on Monday, according to the district statement.

Parents and staff would be alerted by a messenger system about their alternative school while Fanning was closed, Seal said.

Brea Olinda High School also sustained damages in some areas on campus as a result of the tremors, but that was not expected to impact the schedule and classes were scheduled to resume Monday morning, according to information posted to the school’s Instagram account.

Meanwhile, aftershocks continued to hit the area on Monday, including one with a magnitude of 2.1 that struck 2 miles north of La Habra shortly after 4:40 a.m., according to the USGS.

Dr. Lucy Jones, a seismologist with the USGS, described the aftershock activity as “normal.”

“This is a very normal aftershock sequence,” she tweeted Sunday. “Dying off as expected.”

She added that more aftershocks with a magnitude of at least 3.0 could be expected to continue during the week.

The largest aftershock to hit the area since Friday night’s temblor was a magnitude-4.1 that hit shortly after 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
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