Note to editors: Listen to a podcast
interview about the Los Angeles earthquake at: http://www.usgs.gov/corecast/details.asp?ID=88
A magnitude-5.4 earthquake rattled
Los Angeles today, causing strong shaking, minor damage and was felt from
Arizona to Nevada.
Nearly 50 aftershocks have been
recorded so far, most of them small, many of them felt, the largest being
The last notable earthquakes causing
significant damage in the area were the Jan. 17, 1994, magnitude-6.7 Northridge
earthquake and the Oct. 1, 1987, magnitude-5.9 Whittier Narrows earthquake.
In 1999, the magnitude-7.1 Hector Mine earthquake in a remote part of the
Mojave Desert was widely felt through the greater Los Angeles region, but
caused no damage.
Citizens who felt the earthquake
can go online and report their observations on the USGS Did You Feel
It? website, http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/dyfi/ . So
far, about 35,000 people have reported feeling the Los Angeles earthquake.
Earthquakes cannot be predicted.
But earthquake-prone areas such as Los Angeles can be prepared for earthquakes.
The Great Southern California ShakeOut, a weeklong series
of special events featuring a massive earthquake drill at 10 AM on November
13, 2008, in Los Angeles, is one way for the public to get prepared for
the next big earthquake. It is being sponsored by the Earthquake Country
Alliance, of which the USGS is a founding member.
The ShakeOut drill centers on the ShakeOut Scenario, a
realistic portrayal of what could happen in a major earthquake on the southern
end of the San Andreas Fault. Created by over 300 experts led by Dr. Lucy
Jones of USGS, the scenario outlines a hypothetical 7.8 magnitude earthquake
originating near the Salton Sea, which would have the potential to devastate
With a goal of at least 5 million participants, the ShakeOut
drill will be the largest in U.S. history. Southern Californians are signing
up at www.shakeout.org/register, to pledge their family, business,
or organization’s participation in the drill. Registered participants
receive information on how to prepare and drill, connect with other participants,
and encourage a dialogue within the community about earthquake preparedness.
In the first 6 weeks of registration, over 1.9 million people are
registered to be part of the drill.
USGS provides science for a changing
world. For more information, visit www.usgs.gov.
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