An estimated 17 million people felt the 5.1 California earthquake on Friday, according to the U.S. Geological survey.
A seismologist from the organization, David Wald, said the USGS received over 16,000 reports following the quake: “About one in 1,000 are actually reporting… That’s a pretty good [data] sample. If you’re polling for political responses, that would be a huge sample,” he said.
The quake’s epicenter was considered shallow, at a depth of under five miles, and was centered around one mile south of La Habra in California. A number of powerful aftershocks were also felt by residents late into the night.
The California earthquake struck at 9:09 p.m., and was felt as far out as San Diego in the south and Ventura County in the north. Fortunately, no major injuries were reported, although the quake left a trail of broken glass, gas leaks, water main breaks and rock slides in its wake.
The USGS said that around 25 aftershocks ensued after the main earthquake, ranging in magnitudes of 2 to 3.6. Public safety crews were inspecting bridges, rail tracks and other infrastructure systems for signs of damage.
A caller to KNX-AM radio spoke about the damage he saw from the earthquake: “A lot of the glass in the place shook like crazy. It started like a roll and then it started shaking like crazy. Everybody ran outside, hugging each other in the streets.”
At the time of the earthquake, Hall of Fame announcer Vin Scully was on air commentating on the Angels-Dodgers exhibition game at the Dodger’s stadium. He said, during the sixth inning: “A little tremor here in the ballpark. I’m not sure if the folks felt it, but we certainly felt it here in press box row,” Scully said. “A tremor and only that, thank goodness.”
A resident of La Mirada, Tom Connolly, said the earthquake lasted for about 30 seconds: “We felt a really good jolt. It was a long rumble and it just didn’t feel like it would end. Right in the beginning it shook really hard, so it was a little unnerving. People got quiet and started bracing themselves by holding on to each other. It was a little scary.”
It is fortunate that no deaths or major injuries were reported as a result of the latest California earthquake, as authorities carefully monitor the state.