Could LA Quake Mean the End of a Seismic Drought?


A shallow 5.1-magnitude earthquake rocked the Los Angeles area Friday causing power cuts, gas leaks and bursting water mains, and stopping rides at Disneyland.

While no injuries were reported, objects fell from shelves and furniture toppled over, according to photos posted on social media, while TV pictures showed a car flipped over by a rockslide.

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The quake, which hit at 9:10 p.m., was the biggest in the Los Angeles area for six years, since a 5.5-magnitude earthquake struck nearby Chino Hills in 2008. Friday's quake came after one measuring 4.4 earlier this month.

The quake's epicenter was near La Habra, about 22 miles (35 km) southeast of downtown Los Angeles, and could be felt across the LA metropolitan area, including in Hollywood.

Disneyland shut down rides as a precaution, according to NBC4 television. A Disneyland spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Car alarms were reported to have been set off in some areas by the five-mile-deep quake, which was initially registered as 5.3 magnitude but later revised down.

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Hannah Hirzel, 17, who lives four miles from the epicenter, said: "I was home alone and I ran out of the house ... I was sitting where my bookshelf fell, but I ran too quick."

The quake, which lasted up to half a minute, was preceded and followed by a number of smaller ones.

The LA County Fire Department received reports of gas leaks and scattered damage, said spokesman Ed Pickett, while police in Fullerton, about fives miles from La Habra, reported several water main breaks, spokesman Jeff Stuart told KCAL 9 television.

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