Santa Barbara earthquake upgraded to magnitude 4.8


The magnitude of Wednesday’s earthquake off the Santa Barbara coast has been upgraded to 4.8, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The earthquake -- which struck at 7:38 a.m. about five miles west of UC Santa Barbara -- was initially reported at magnitude 4.9, then adjusted to 4.6, according to the USGS website. It was upgraded by late morning.

The Santa Barbara area is home is a number of earthquake faults, the largest of which is the Santa Ynez Fault, which is 80 miles long and runs just north of the city. That fault is believed to be capable of triggering an earthquake as powerful as a 7.5.


People closest to the epicenter felt moderate shaking, but the only effects reported were the falling of a few photo frames. The quake, however, was felt broadly, from California’s Central Coast to Los Angeles County.

Wednesday’s quake happened not far from the devastating 1925 earthquake in Santa Barbara. Recorded at a magnitude 6.8, the temblor destroyed much of Santa Barbara’s downtown on State Street, damaged rail lines, caused extensive landslides on bluffs, and was felt as far away as Orange County. It killed 13 people.

On Wednesday, two magnitude 2.6 aftershocks -- one in the same spot at 7:50 a.m. and another a mile west at 8:38 a.m. -- were also recorded, the USGS website reported. A magnitude 2.5 quake was recorded four miles west of Isla Vista at 12:05 p.m.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, Office of Emergency Management and Fire Department said they had no initial reports of injuries or damage.

A spokesman for UC Santa Barbara -- located in Goleta -- said preliminary information indicated that there was “no damage at all.”

“No damage reported in the area,” said Michael Dalcerri, captain at Santa Barbara County Fire Station 17 on the campus. “We pulled our rigs out, checked the area -- campus area, Isla Vista -- no damage to report.”


Dozens of people stretching from Bakersfield to Manhattan Beach reported feeling the quake on the USGS “Did you feel it?” site.

A man who answered the phone at the Santa Barbara Inn called it a “slight shift,” but said there was “no big reaction” from guests.

Goleta resident Lisa Green told KTLA-TV that her house “was just rocking back and forth, back and forth.” A few pictures fell off the wall and her medicine cabinet flew open, she said.

“My dogs were going crazy,” she said.

After the shaking subsided, Green said, her neighbors went outside to check on one another.

Others reported the quake on social media.

“I live in IV and it woke me up!” @ahhhlexx15 said. “But it wasn’t scary if you know earthquakes.”

“Felt it in Thousand Oaks. Woke me up & me dog growled at it.” @KiraDFoltz said.


“Did not feel it in Ventura,” @4apelican wrote. “Go figure.”

Last week, Northern California was rattled by a magnitude 5.7 quake that struck about 150 miles northeast of Sacramento. It marked the largest on-land temblor to hit California since 2008, experts said.


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