California

5.3 earthquake rocks Santa Barbara County; 2 small quakes hit east of Paso

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake was reported near the Channel Islands on Thursday, April 5, 2018. Shaking was reported in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Camarillo and Los Angeles.
A magnitude 5.3 earthquake was reported near the Channel Islands on Thursday, April 5, 2018. Shaking was reported in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Camarillo and Los Angeles.

A magnitude-5.3 earthquake rocked parts of Southern California on Thursday afternoon, with shaking reported from San Luis Obispo to Laguna Hills.

Then, an hour later, two small quakes rattled the Paso Robles area.

The first earthquake happened at 12:29 p.m. near the southern side of the Channel Islands, according to the United States Geological Survey.

No significant damage was reported, but some bricks fell from a chimney at a historic ranch on one of the islands.

Channel Islands National Park spokeswoman Yvonne Menard says the bricks fell Thursday at a ranch building on Santa Cruz Island that dates to the 1860s.

Menard says the quake was felt by visitors and staff on the island, but no injuries were reported.

Most of Santa Cruz Island, including the ranch area, is owned by The Nature Conservancy, which cooperatively manages the island with the Park Service.

Veteran seismologist Lucy Jones says earthquakes of such size typically occur about once a year in Southern California.

According to USGS, reports of the quake came from all over southwestern California, including San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, Oxnard, Carpinteria, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Camarillo, and even Irvine in Orange County.

At 1:22 p.m., a 2.9-magnitude quake 35 miles east of Atascadero shook northern San Luis Obispo County, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

That quake was reportedly felt as far south as Santa Maria, the USGS said.

Less than 20 minutes later, a magnitude-2.7 earthquake was reported in the same location.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Here is a simulation of ground motion after a magnitude 8 earthquake on the San Andreas fault, showing ground shaking throughout Southern California for more than 75 seconds after the rupture begins near Parkfield. San Diego Supercomputer Center r

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