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Swarm of earthquakes rattles L.A. area after magnitude 4.0 jolt

A map shows where the 4.0 earthquake Monday in Inglewood was felt across L.A.
A magnitude 4.0 earthquake was reported early Monday in Inglewood, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
(Quakebot)

A swarm of small earthquakes shook the Los Angeles area early Monday and rattled the nerves of residents, many of whom were jolted awake by two of the stronger quakes.

A magnitude 4.0 earthquake was reported at 4:44 a.m. Monday near Inglewood, less than half an hour after two smaller foreshocks hit the same area.

The larger quake was felt across Southern California, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. A magnitude 3.3 temblor that preceded it hit the same area at 4:15 a.m., while a magnitude 2.5 shaker struck at the same time about two miles away.

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The main earthquake was centered near Prairie and Century boulevards. It occurred less than a mile from Lennox, less than a mile from Hawthorne and one mile from Los Angeles.

By 8 a.m., nearly 40 aftershocks had rattled the Inglewood and Lennox area, said Paul Caruso, a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey National Earthquake Information Center in Colorado.

The main shock was “pretty deep for California,” at about 12 miles down, he said, noting that quakes in the area are typically about three miles deep. Deeper earthquakes are felt less strongly on the surface.

“We cannot predict earthquakes, but certainly there will be more aftershocks,” he added.

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Earthquake expert Lucy Jones said on Twitter that the magnitude 4.0 quake was strong enough to be “felt by most people awake in LA.” She added it probably wasnot on any mapped faults.

The foreshock and flurry of aftershocks occurred at about the same depth, the longtime seismologist
said.

A KCBS-TV Channel 2 news broadcast was on the air when the magnitude 4.0 temblor struck.

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“That was definitely an earthquake right there,” anchor DeMarco Morgan said after the light shaking. “You were not dreaming.”

Inglewood resident Lori Campbell said she had just fallen back asleep when the magnitude 4.0 quake struck. It was “two strong jolts, not rolling like usual,” said Campbell, who lives two blocks from the Forum, near the epicenter of the quake.

Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a tweet shortly before 7 a.m. that no damage had been reported amid the quakes.

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Residents on social media reported power outages in the area around the quakes, but a representative for Southern California Edison said no service had been interrupted.

In the last 10 days, there have been three earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater centered nearby.

An average of five earthquakes with magnitudes of 3.0 to 4.0 occur each year in the Greater Los Angeles area, according to a recent three-year data sample.

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Did you feel this earthquake? Consider reporting what you felt to the USGS.

Even if you didn’t feel this small earthquake, you never know when the Big One is going to strike. Ready yourself by following our five-step earthquake preparedness guide and building your own emergency kit.

“Odds are high that nothing bigger will happen,” the USGS said on Twitter, “but every felt quake is a reminder that California is earthquake country.”


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