An earthquake shook southern California early today, causing little damage but worrying residents who fear a massive disaster like those recently seen in Haiti and Chile.
The quake was measured at a 4.4 magnitude, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It was centered about one mile from Pico Rivera, Calif., and about 11 miles from the Los Angeles Civic Center.
Los Angeles County Fire Department supervisor Andre Gougis told The Associated Press that the agency was surveying the area, but had received no immediate reports of damage.
USGS geophysicist Jessica Sigala told ABCNews.com that the buildings and infrastructure around Los Angeles should hold up against this type of earthquake.
“With a 4.4 here, we probably wouldn’t see substantial damage, just a lot of shaking,” Sigala said, adding that the quake was hard enough probably just to knock books off shelves and maybe break windows.
The area may see some aftershocks, she said, but they will likely be smaller than the initial earthquake.
Could this tremor have been a “foreshock,” a first sign of the major earthquake Californians have been warned to expect sometime in coming decades?
“There’s always a chance, but no, not realistically, no,” said John Bellini of the U.S. Geological Survey in Golden, Colo. “It’s just part of the day-to-day seismicity they get in Southern California. People should always be ready, and have disaster plans in place, just in case.”…