Magnitude 5.3 Earthquake Hits Southern California
A magnitude 5.3 earthquake rattled Southern California and was felt by cities over 90 miles away from the area. According to USA Today, the shaking happened on a Saturday morning and could be felt in an apartment building near Del Mar, California, which is situated approximately 95 miles from the location of the earthquake.
Deadline reported, citing the United States Geological Survey (USGS), that the 5.3 magnitude earthquake felt in Southern California was a part of a "flurry" of quakes in Imperial County.
California Earthquake Rattles Southern Part of the State
It’s a #swarmysaturday around the Salton Sea in SoCal right now! It started with an earthquake swarm kicking off at 1 AM PST this morning and so far the largest earthquake was a M5.3 at 10:55 AM. You can find details about the #earthquake here: https://t.co/Ov96nkHWZs— USGS Earthquakes (@USGS_Quakes) June 5, 2021
USGS tweeted that the earthquake swarm started kicking at around one in the morning, and the highest intensity recorded so far was the 5.3 magnitude, which occurred around 10:55 in the morning. USGS also released data on the epicenter of the earthquake that occurred about 11 kilometers west of Calipatria, California, located in Imperial County.
The swarm in Imperial Valley has grown to include a M5.3 and 24 M3+ quakes. So far. The main fault looks to be the NE-trending Westmoreland fault. And a primer on swarms in Episode 19 at: https://t.co/JaAGw80u64— Dr. Lucy Jones (@DrLucyJones) June 5, 2021
And there is no way to be sure what is coming next. As long as it stays active, there will be more quakes and some could be large. Many of the swarms have a ~M5 as the largest. Rarely, they grow to include a M5.8-6.0— Dr. Lucy Jones (@DrLucyJones) June 5, 2021
Dr. Lucy Jones, a seismologist, noted that "quakes in Imperial Valley often come in swarms." The Seismologist added that the main fault in the shaking is the Northeast trending Westmoreland Fault. Jones furthered that as long as the fault stays active, earthquakes will continue to occur and some of them may be large.
Although earthquake clusters were not rare near this region, the strength of the shaking is considered moderate. Deadline pointed out that this group of shakes included at least 25 individual earthquakes, including the 5.3 magnitude shaker.
USGS added that the area affected expected little or no landslide, but it can still occur in highly susceptible areas, as well as earthquake liquefaction. It is also little or no exposure of a population to landslides and liquefaction.
So, is this unusual? No, not really. We last had a swarm right near today’s activity in 2005. And the entire region surrounding the Salton Sea is known for having swarms; we had two just last fall. #swarmyarea #saltonsea #swarmysaltonsea #saltonseaeaquakes— USGS Earthquakes (@USGS_Quakes) June 5, 2021
USGS also noted that the last swarm that also happened near todays' earthquake, was in 2005. Furthermore, USGS highlighted that the entire region near the Salton Sea was known for having swarms; and two of them happened last Fall.
The Imperial County Fire Department and Office of Emergency Services is currently monitoring an assessing recent earthquake activity in our region. There has not been any report of damages yet and our crews are conducting damage assessments. pic.twitter.com/ZYPYXithnA— County of Imperial (@ImperialCntyCA) June 5, 2021
"The Imperial County Fire Department and Office of Emergency Service are currently monitoring and assessing recent earthquake activity in our region," said the department in a Twitter post. The Fire Department added that there were no reports of damages and injuries so far.
USGS utilized a tool called ShakeAlert through phone apps and Wireless Emergency alerts, to notify the residents who felt the tremors.
Earthquake Safety Tips
There are several tips people should bear in mind to be safe when an earthquake occurs. The United States Geological Survey gave different ways to stay safe whether indoors or outdoors during an earthquake.
When an earthquake happened indoors, getting under a table or desk will protect an individual against falling debris. Staying away from fireplaces, windows, and heavy furniture or appliances will also save someone's life in case shaking occurs. Rushing outside is also not a smart move when the tremors were felt indoors.
Now when outside and an earthquake like in Southern California occurred, going to an open area and staying away from buildings, powerlines, and anything that might collapse is a smart move. When driving, stopping the vehicle but safely putting it out of the traffic will be helpful.
WATCH: Did you feel it? | Series of earthquakes shake Southern California - from CBS 8 San Diego
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