At about three minutes past 12 in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, a 3.7 magnitude earthquake lightly shook Los Angeles, where the coronavirus pandemic already has people on edge.
According to seismologist and go-to expert Dr. Lucy Jones, the temblor appears to have been on the Newport-Inglewood fault, about 7.8 miles below the View Park-Windsor Hills neighborhood, where several quakes occurred in 2015.
I'm happy to have slept thru last night's little quake. It appears to be on the Newport-Inglewood fault, at almost the same location as 4 M3 quakes in April, May and June 2015. Those and today are all deep (~7-8 miles down), way below the oil fields.
— Dr. Lucy Jones (@DrLucyJones) April 22, 2020
— USGS (@USGS) April 22, 2020
Mayor Garcetti tweeted at 12:25 that Los Angeles Fire Department was “assessing for any damages” and that city teams would be continuing to monitor the situation, which did little to soothe some people’s already raw nerves. “An earthquake will be the last straw,” one user responded. Others pointed out that the ShakeAlertLA app hadn’t alerted users in advance—the easy answer there is that the application was designed as a warning system for quakes of at least 5.0 in magnitude.
In early April, the sadists at LAist (I kid) wondered what would happen if the Big One hit while L.A. was in the throes of a pandemic. On that front, there’s good news and bad news. For instance, if a major quake were to strike, home is the safest place you can be, especially when that home is already stocked with much-needed pandemic supplies. On the other hand, social distancing would be tossed out the window and aid for recovery might be harder to access. As Dr. Jones explained, “There are other people out there with resources who are going to pile in and help us in this situation when the earthquake hits—that’s probably not a valid assumption at this point.”
As of now, no major damage or injuries have been reported.
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