Southern California hit by 5.1 earthquake

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Map highlighting location of Barstow.
Image: Shereth.

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), Southern California in the United States has been struck by a magnitude 5.1 earthquake. The quake struck at 8:18 p.m. (Pacific Time) on Friday night.

The epicenter was located 56 kilometers (35 miles) East of Barstow and 188 k.m. (116 miles) East, Northeast of Los Angeles. So far there are no reports of damage or injuries. Over 21,000 people live in Barstow.

"[The quake was] relatively shallow and if it were located in a more populated area it could be very damaging, but it's out in the middle of the desert, in the middle of nowhere," said Richard Buckmaster, a seismologist for the USGS.

The quake was recorded at a depth of 5 km (3.1 miles). Reports say that the shaking could be felt as far away as San Diego where it shook the sheriff's office building. The shaking was also felt in Los Angeles. Nearly a dozen aftershocks ranging from magnitudes 1.0 to 2.5, have been recorded in the same location since the main event.

Recently, a magnitude 5.4 earthquake struck downtown Los Angeles, but caused no damage or injuries. The earthquake's epicenter was located near a golf course in an upscale community 3 km (2 miles) Southwest from Chino Hills, or 47 km (29 miles) East, Southeast of Los Angeles (33.959° N 117.752° W). The most recent damaging quake to hit Southern California was the January 17, 1994 Northridge quake in Reseda. That quake had a magnitude of 6.7, and killed 72 people and injured over 9,000.


  Learn more about the 1994 Northridge earthquake on Wikipedia.