'Real good jolt' reported after 4.0 earthquake rattles South Bay

The South Bay got a bit of a jolt Wednesday as a 4.0 magnitude earthquake rattled the region.

The quake, which struck about 1 p.m., was centered in the Pacific Ocean six miles south of Point Fermin. 

No damage was immediately reported, but the earthquake was felt over a large swath of the coast, south to Huntington Beach and north to Playa del Rey, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy at the Lomita Station said units were checking the area's "critical facilities" but said there were no immediate reports of damage. The Los Angeles County Fire Department said via Twitter it hadn't received any either.


A woman who answered the phone for the Ranchos Palos Verdes Public Works Department said there were no reported problems, but called the temblor "a real good jolt."

The lunch hour was in full swing at Nelson's, a restaurant overlooking an ocean cliff in the Terranea resort at Rancho Palos Verdes, when the quake hit.

Nikki Scotti, the hostess on duty, was talking with a guest at the front of the restaurant when she started to feel the rumbling. A San Pedro native who has felt her share of earthquakes, she continued the conversation without skipping a beat, so as not to alarm the customer.

"They still noticed," she said with a laugh.

The shaking did not feel particularly intense, but lasted about five seconds, she said. The restaurant paused during the quake, quiet save for some light rattling of glasses and nearby wine bottles.

"For the most part, everyone just stopped where they were," she said. No damage was reported at the resort.

Angela Butts-Chester, 41, a counselor with an office on the sixthfloor of the historic Ocean Center Building in downtown Long Beach, said she was working on her computer when she felt a strong shake.

"It was like if someone were to bump you in the store and you're taken off guard," she said. The jolt was followed by four or five seconds of strong swaying, Butts-Chester said, and she watched as her lampshade and water cooler swayed with her.

"It really got my attention," she said. Immediately after the swaying stopped, Butts-Chester said she slipped off her 3-inch heels and into sandals, and waited by the door, just in case.

"I sat there for a minute and said, 'Oh, OK, never mind. It's over.'"

Some L.A. Now readers also reported shaking. @mtawada reported a "strong swaying motion" at her Palos Verdes Estates home that lasted about three or four seconds.

Did you feel anything? Let us know in the comments below or by tweeting @LANow.