Earthquakes In Los Angeles

J’aime les tremblements de terre! That’s how we say “I love earthquakes!” in French. They’re scary, but they create an adrenaline rush at the same time. For all the horror they create around the world, they show that humans know how to help one another out in times of crisis. What is it, you say? Death is the great unifier? Natural disasters are the reason we’re built to think this way, I believe. 

On April 5, there was a 4.0 earthquake near Inglewood. That’s not strong enough to mean big damage, but there’s always the chance that a bigger quake can be followed by a small one. And so everyone was understandably worried.

The good news is this one probably won’t have a follow-up quake, because scientists don’t believe it was along a known fault line. Dr. Lucy Jones tweeted, “The M4.0 that just happened was under Lennox, CA, near Inglewood. Very deep at 20km, so everyone is at least 20 km away. Would have been felt by most people awake in LA. Movement was thrust, probably not on any mapped fault.”

There were a couple of even smaller quakes beforehand, a 3.3 and 2.5. No big deal!

The 1994 Northridge earthquake occurred before my time, but it’s the biggest that most LA residents remember. It coincided with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Jan. 17. That’s to the far northwest of Downtown Los Angeles deep within the San Fernando Valley (a place where I avoid because it’s 10 degrees hotter than the rest of the city). It only lasted up to twenty seconds.

But it was so strong that it was felt as far away as Las Vegas. 60 people died and thousands were injured. At least two major aftershocks were recorded, both relatively powerful 6 pointers. Thousands of smaller quakes were recorded in the days afterward. There was around $50 billion in damage.

J’aime les tremblements de terre…but not when they’re that big!