No report of damages from 4.5 magnitude quake that jolted L.A. area

Earthquakes

The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude 4.5 earthquake struck Southern California late Friday night.

The agency says the earthquake hit around 11:40 p.m. local time, about 2 miles outside of South El Monte, near Los Angeles.

Preliminary reports indicate it was about 11 miles deep.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. Officials warned residents to be prepared for possible aftershocks.

The shaking was felt throughout Los Angeles and residents also reported feeling the jolt in Ventura, Orange and San Diego counties, according to USGS. 

The quake appears to be a deep “high stress drop,” similar to a 2008 Chino Hills magnitude 5.5 earthquake, according to USGS. “These quakes typically have relatively strong shaking but few aftershocks,” the agency explained.

Seismologist Lucy Jones says the epicenter is near the location of the 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake. That earthquake was a magnitude 5.9 and killed eight people.

“Although tonight’s quake is in the same location as 1987 Whittier Narrows, it is not considered an aftershock because the aftershocks died off completely in less than 2 years,” Jones said on Twitter.

The probability that an earthquake is a foreshock also “dies off,” Jones said. An hour after the first jolt, there’s a 4% chance what happened was a foreshock. But by the next night, the chances are below 1%, she said.

The 1987 quake had no foreshocks, and its largest aftershock was a magnitude 5.3 that struck about three days later, according to the seismologist.

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