Residents Allowed to Return Home After La Habra 5.1 Earthquake

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The majority of Fullerton residents displaced overnight by the magnitude-5.1 earthquake that hit Southern California were allowed to return to their homes late Saturday.

A total of 83 people were evacuated in Fullerton, including 50 residents in one apartment complex in the 2700 block of Associated Road, according to authorities.

Residents were allowed to return to an apartment complex in Fullerton that sustained damages in the earthquake on Friday, March 28, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

The apartment building sustained visible damages, including a number of large cracks on the exterior walls

“Everything was falling over, there are cracks inside of our building and the floors separated from our walls,” said Jennifer Scott, a resident of the apartment. “I didn’t think it was going to be as bad as this, I didn’t think there was going to be so much damage.”

Scott said firefighters told her it was her choice to stay, but, she was told, it was “probably not safe.”

In addition to the apartment complex, several homes in the area were also evacuated as a result of the temblor. One of those homes was cordoned off with police tape Saturday and deemed to be “uninhabitable.”

About 19 people have not yet been allowed to return to their residences yet, authorities said.

Residents of the apartment building who had evacuated were allowed to return home, even as dozens of aftershocks — including one with a magnitude of 4.1 that hit that afternoon in Rowland Heights — continued to shake the area Saturday.

More aftershocks were also felt Sunday morning. A magnitude-2.7 earthquake centered near La Habra struck around 9:05 a.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Some residents remained on edge as a result of the seismic activity.

“I haven’t experienced anything that intense since I was probably 8, so it was very scary,” Jacquline Dyer, a resident of Fullerton, said of the initial temblor. “And all the aftershocks that have been happening, they’re not that comfortable either.”

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

“This is a very normal aftershock sequence,” she said in a tweet. “Dying off as expected.”

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

One of the world’s leading seismologists from the US Geological Survey, Dr. Lucy Jones
One of the world’s leading seismologists from the US Geological Survey, Dr. Lucy Jones

The biggest quake in the past two days occurred at approximately 9:09 p.m. Friday, according to the USGS.

Initially reported as a 5.3, it was downgraded to a 5.1, and was centered 1 mile east of La Habra at a depth of 4.6 miles.

Fullerton is located about 4 miles away from the earthquake’s epicenter.

KTLA’s Erin Myers contributed to this report.

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