Southern California Shaken by Strongest Quake in Years

The gold star is the location of a magintude-5.3 earthquake off of Santa Cruz Island on Thursday

The gold star is the location of a magintude-5.3 earthquake off of Santa Cruz Island on Thursday

At this time there is no word if there were any injuries or damages.

The Los Angeles Fire Department went into "earthquake mode, " during which it pulls its trucks out of stations and crews begin sweeping neighborhoods to check for damage to key infrastructure, such as roadways and bridges.

Veteran seismologist Lucy Jones says earthquakes of such size typically occur about once a year in Southern California.

The quake's epicenter was 17 miles (27 kilometers) from Santa Cruz Island, which is largely unpopulated but does have some staff and is visited by campers.

Although there was no significant damage reported, some bricks fell from a chimney at a historic ranch in the Channel Islands region.

It was felt across the Los Angeles area and as far away as Bakersfield.

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One woman said the quake's "rolling motion" caused walls to creak and items to swing in Torrance.

Thankfully, the same is true for the people in the Santa Cruz region who felt the shaker on the mainland, though it was the largest felt in the Golden State in several years.

Scientists at the California Institute of Technology's seismology laboratory in Pasadena said the quake warning system under development for the West Coast gave about 10 seconds of warning before shaking arrived.

Fox News' Trace Gallagher in LosAngeles reported the quake was felt to get approximately 10 seconds and there wasn't any tsunami warning issued.

Asked was it likely to follow typical aftershock patterns, Hough said "We can never count on earthquakes to obey the averages" but said that they did expect an aftershock pattern, most likely peaking in the magnitude 4 range. "We know that it's coming", Swindle said.

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