The quake struck at 2:45 p.m. and was centered two miles east-southeast of Ojai in Ventura County at a depth of one kilometer, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The quake could be felt sharply across a wide swath of the L.A. area, including Hollywood and Long Beach, and was followed by several aftershocks, including several reaching or exceeding a magnitude of 3.0.
There were no immediate reports of serious damage, however, the Los Angeles Fire Department activated its “earthquake mode” in which all 106 neighborhood fire stations conducted rapid infrastructure surveys in their districts.
No issues were found and no injuries were reported, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass announced around 4:15 p.m.
“This is an area with a large concentration of faults but has not seen a lot of earthquakes over the 90 years that Cal Tech has been recording [them],” said seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones, adding that several “foreshocks” preceded the Ojai quake starting Saturday morning.
“Significant damage to a building would be extremely unlikely and it would only happen if you really had something wrong with your building,” said Jones. “I would imagine, just knowing what [magnitude] fives are in Southern California, that seeing some wine bottles tipped over at Trader Joe’s would be pretty likely.”
Hundreds of earthquakes are recorded in California each year. Many are extremely minor, however, dozens measure over 3.0 magnitude. According to the California Department of Conservation, the strongest quake ever recorded in the Golden State measured 7.9 magnitude and struck Fort Tejon on Jan. 9, 1857.
There was no tsunami threat following the quake, the National Weather Service said.
The quake struck just as rain from Tropical Storm Hilary, the first tropical storm to hit California since 1939, began to intensify. The NWS issued Flash Flood Warnings for much of Los Angeles County, including areas where the quake was felt acutely.