Just before 11:42 a.m. this morning, a moderate earthquake registering 5.4 on the Richter scale rumbled through a wide area of Southern California. Centered 29 miles east of Downtown Los Angeles.
Chino Hills, CA
The effects of the quake were reportedly felt as far south as San Diego and east all the way to Las Vegas. Graded as "moderate to strong" by the U.S. Geological Survey, the shaking was not the first felt today in California.
In the pre-dawn hours, a small quake, centered in Barstow and registering 3.1 was felt at 5:04 a.m.
An interesting, if not somewhat alarming possibility reported by CBS 2 news reporter Kent Schocknek (no stranger to earthquakes in Southern California) is the notion that 1 in 20 earthquakes reported are classified as a "fore-shock" of an imminent, larger quake. The incident of this morning's 3.1 Barstow quake, followed less than 6 hours later by the 5.6 Chino Hills quake, tends to corroborate this theory as it was reported.
However, if the Barstow and Chino Hills quakes are not related, there remains a 1 in 20 possibility of another, larger quake yet to come.
On a personal note, in Redondo Beach, this reporter was on the third floor of a structure that sits approximately one mile from the Pacific Ocean. My initial observation was the thought that a worker for the building was on the roof above, walking heavily and quickly from one side of the building to the other. At that point lights in the building flickered and flashed, followed by a swaying of the room complete with curtains moving on the curtain rods for the next 10 to 15 seconds.
By 12:30 p.m. a total of 10 aftershocks had been felt, registering as strong as 3.8.
As usually experienced at the time of a stronger quake, cell phones were rendered useless, however regular land-line phone service remained on.