4.2 earthquake, flurry of aftershocks off Malibu coast rock Los Angeles

Malibu coast
Malibu Surfrider Beach, next to the Malibu Pier.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County was rattled early Wednesday morning after a magnitude 4.2 earthquake struck 10 miles off the coast of Malibu, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The initial quake was reported at 2 a.m. A magnitude 3.5 aftershock struck just three minutes later, followed by a magnitude 2.8 at 2:22 and a magnitude 2.6 at 2:38, the USGS said. The first earthquake occurred at a depth of about nine miles.

“This morning’s M4.2 quake off the coast of Malibu is a reminder that we live in #earthquake country,” the L.A. County Office of Emergency Management said in a tweet.


There was no threat of a tsunami, according to U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center.

The Los Angeles Fire Department went into “complete earthquake mode” and conducted a citywide assessment early Wednesday morning. No injuries or damages were reported and the agency has resumed normal operations, the LAFD said on its website.

People are much more important than kits. People will help each other when the power is out or they are thirsty. And people will help a community rebuild and keep Southern California a place we all want to live after a major quake.

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The earthquake was felt as far north as Oxnard and as far south as Long Beach, the USGS shake map showed. The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services said in a tweet that an emergency alert from the MyShake app, an earthquake early warning system, was sent to residents, warning them that a quake was expected and to stop, drop and cover.

The alert went to 62,000 phones, said Richard Allen, a seismologist and director of the UC Berkeley Seismological Laboratory, which built the app.

Residents across Los Angeles reported on social media that they were startled by the flurry of temblors.

“Wow. That was big,” actor Josh Gad tweeted.

Jenise Spiteri, an Olympic snowboarder, said on Twitter that was the “biggest one I’ve felt in a long time.”


Other residents reported being jolted awake, and some reported sleeping through the event.

An average of 25 earthquakes between magnitudes 4.0 and 5.0 occur each year in California and Nevada, 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.

Find out what to do before, and during, an earthquake near you by signing up for our Unshaken newsletter, which breaks down emergency preparedness into bite-sized steps over six weeks. Learn more about earthquake kits, which apps you need, seismologist Lucy Jones’ most important advice and more at

Times staff writer Henry Chu contributed to this report.