Larger L.A. earthquake possible after 5.1 temblor, USGS says

Map shows a swarm of earthquakes that hit the La Habra area on Friday.
(Len De Groot/Los Angeles Times)

The 5.1 magnitude earthquake that rattled Southern California on Friday night raises the possibility that a larger quake is on the way, seismologists said.

The swarm of earthquakes began at 8:03 p.m., when a 3.6 earthquake hit. That ended up being a foreshock of the largest earthquake to hit, a magnitude 5.1 at 9:09 p.m. At least two more aftershocks hit, a 3.4 at 9:11 p.m. and a 3.6 at 9:30 p.m.

U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Jones said 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,” Jones said at Caltech.

The quake was felt over a large swath of the region. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, but fire departments said they were still doing assessments.


The quake appeared to last about 10 seconds.