Fontana Earthquake Rocks Southern California

Jennifer Deutschmann

A Fontana earthquake rocked residents of Southern California early Wednesday morning. The 4.4-magnitude quake was centered in San Bernardino County around three miles north of Fontana and four miles west of Rialto. The US Geological Survey said the earthquake struck at 1:35 am and was just over 3 miles deep.

Although no injuries or major damage was reported, residents throughout the region experienced moderate to weak tremors. As many residents were sleeping when the quake occurred, the shaking likely felt stronger than it actually was.

Rialto resident Alysha Griggs said the quake "felt pretty big" and "shook her whole house." She said the tremors, which lasted close to 10 seconds, also frightened her dog.

Rancho Cucamonga resident Garcia said the quake was mild. However, the tremors managed to dislodge a mirror from her wall.

As reported by Z6Mag,Rialto Police Sargent Chris Hice said "it felt like somebody ran into [the] building" with a car.

Residents throughout the region experienced minor damage as furnishings were shaken off their counters and walls. However, authorities in Fontana, Los Angeles, and Rialto, said nobody was harmed in the Fontana earthquake.

The quake struck one day after Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced a plan for earthquake preparedness and safety. The initiative will include identifying and fortifying buildings that may crumble during a strong quake. USGS seismologist Lucy Jones said "the viability" of Los Angeles is in at risk:

"Los Angeles County has one-quarter of the nation's seismic risk in our county alone... 10 million people on top of 100 faults... If we can come up with a solution here … it'd make a big difference."

Los Angeles Times reports that buildings constructed with concrete and wood are a specific concern. In 1994, the Northridge earthquake damaged or destroyed more than 40,000 structures and killed 60 people.

Although the mayor is committed to improving the buildings, critics of the program argue that it targets the disadvantaged. Resident Wayne Spindler said identifying specific structures as hazards will reduce "the prices and resale values."

While the Fontana earthquake was relatively mild, many believe a larger more destructive quake could happen at any time.

[Image via]