More than 100 aftershocks rattle Calif. after strong quake

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by William M. Welch, USA TODAY

KREM.com

Posted on March 29, 2014 at 8:22 AM

Updated Sunday, Mar 30 at 8:40 AM

LOS ANGELES — More than 100 aftershocks continued to rattle Southern California on Saturday after a stronger earthquake the night before displaced dozens of residents.

Among the strongest aftershocks, the U.S. Geological Survey reported a magnitude-3.4 struck at 9:02 a.m. PT Saturday, and was centered near La Habra near Los Angeles, which took the brunt of the larger quake Friday night.

The strong earthquake was felt widely across the region shortly after 9 p.m. PT Friday. The USGS said the epicenter was 1 mile from Brea, located about 20 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, and 3 miles from Rowland Heights and Fullerton. The main quake was preceded by two foreshocks registering at magnitudes 3.6 and 2.1, scientists said.

USGS seismologist Lucy Jones at CalTech in Pasadena told the Los Angeles Times that the 5.1 quake has a 5% chance of being a foreshock of an even larger quake.

"There could be even a larger earthquake in the next few hours or the next few days," she said.

A number of residents in the area were displaced by the temblor. Police Lt. Mike Chlebowski told the Los Angeles Times that at least eight homes and 20 apartment united were red-tagged in Fullerton because they were deemed unsafe to occupy.

Southern California Edison reported power outages to nearly 2,000 customers after the quake.

The quake triggered a rockslide that closed Carbon Canyon Road in northern Orange County near the center of the quake, the California Highway Patrol and Brea police reported. The rockslide caused a car to overturn, and the people inside the car sustained minor injuries.

The quake was felt as far south as San Diego and as far north as Ventura County, according to citizen responses collected online by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Police and fire officials said they were looking for any damage. Several people who live in the area near the quake posted pictures on social media showing broken glasses and dishes that tumbled from shelves or cabinets.

Tom Connolly, a Boeing employee who lives in La Mirada, the next town over from La Habra, said the magnitude-5.1 quake lasted about 30 seconds.

"We felt a really good jolt. It was a long rumble and it just didn't feel like it would end," he told the Associated Press by phone. "Right in the beginning it shook really hard, so it was a little unnerving. People got quiet and started bracing themselves by holding on to each other. It was a little scary."

Hall of Fame announcer Vin Scully was on the air calling the Angels-Dodgers exhibition game in the sixth inning at Dodger Stadium.

"A little tremor here in the ballpark. I'm not sure if the folks felt it, but we certainly felt it here in press box row," Scully said. "A tremor and only that, thank goodness."

The Los Angeles Department of Public Works said it was sending crews to check dams, bridges and other infrastructure for damage.

Callers to KNX-AM reported seeing a brick wall collapse, water sloshing in a swimming pool, and wires and trees swaying back and forth. At Disneyland in Anaheim, rides were stopped as a precaution, the Times reported.

"Tonight's earthquake is the second in two weeks and reminds us to be prepared," said L.A. Mayor Garcetti. "The Los Angeles Police and Fire Departments have conducted an assessment and report no damage in the city."

Preliminary data suggest Friday night's 5.1 magnitude earthquake occurred near the Puente Hills thrust fault, which stretches from the San Gabriel Valley to downtown Los Angeles and caused the 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake, Jones said.

"It's a place where we've had a lot of earthquakes in the past," she said.

The 5.9 Whittier Narrows quake killed eight people and caused $360 million in damage.

Friday's quake hit a week after a predawn magnitude-4.4 quake centered in the San Fernando Valley rattled a swath of Southern California. That jolt shook buildings and rattled nerves, but did not cause significant damage.

Southern California has not experienced a damaging earthquake since the 1994 magnitude-6.7 Northridge quake killed several dozen people and caused $25 billion in damage.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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