Residents of Los Angeles were jolted awake this morning when a 4.4 magnitude earthquake struck about 6 miles from Beverly Hills and 7 miles from Universal City, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
The temblor was a heavy “dose of shock” for Discovery News’ senior producer Ian O’Neill, who said it made him “jump out of bed” when it struck at 6:25 a.m.
“It was noisy!” said O’Neill, who lives in Woodland Hills, approximately 5 miles west of the epicenter. “It sounded like a loud rumble of thunder.”
It also startled local news anchors at KTLA, where news anchors dove under their desks and interrupted a report on singer Chris Brown as the anchorman yelled: “Earthquake! We’re having an earthquake!”
The epicenter was near Sepulveda Pass in the Santa Monica Mountains, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. No injuries were immediately reported, but the Metro trains were expected to be delayed while crews inspected tracks.
Although a 4.4-magnitude earthquake isn’t huge for California, it’s one of the largest to hit Los Angeles since a 6.7-magnitude quake caused $25 billion in damage 20 years ago.
“But we haven’t had one like this in L.A. for quite a while,” Dr. Lucy Jones, a USGS seismologist, told KABC-TV.
It may have been a rude awakening to St. Patrick’s Day, but geophysicists said it probably wasn’t big enough to cause enough damage to disrupt any celebrations. A temblor would usually have to be at least 5.5 magnitude for that.
Image: The morning team at KTLA reacting to Monday morning’s earthquake in Los Angeles. Credit: YouTube screengrab