A small earthquake rumbled through parts of the San Fernando Valley at 10:56 a.m. Saturday, rekindling memories of a destructive temblor that shook Los Angeles exactly one year before.
Saturday’s quake was centered five miles northwest of Sunland, a San Fernando Valley community about 19 miles northwest of downtown. At 3.5 magnitude, it was “a little small to do anything except maybe knock a few things off shelves,” said Caltech seismic analyst Steve Bryant.
By comparison, the Oct. 1, 1987, Whittier earthquake registered 5.9 magnitude, making it 400 times more powerful, Bryant said. The Whittier quake killed three people and caused $368 million in damage.
The Sunland quake was not very unusual, given that Caltech records quakes of that magnitude every three or four days somewhere in Southern California. But its timing made it distinctive for people at North Hills Shopping Center in Granada Hills, who had scheduled an earthquake preparedness day, complete with the Los Angeles Fire Department’s “Quakey Shakey” van for kids, on the first anniversary of the Whittier quake.
“People are laughing, teasing, asking us, ‘Did we order the earthquake?’ ” said Paula Boland, one of the day’s organizers.