5.2 magnitude earthquake early Friday occurred on one of Southern California’s most active faults and triggered hundreds of aftershocks, but caused no major damage, experts and public safety officials said.
The quake occurred near Borrego Springs in San Diego County in a sparsely populated area. Still, the 1:04 a.m. quake was felt from San Diego to parts of L.A. and beyond.
“It’s the biggest one for a while,” said Egill Hauksson, a research professor of geophysics at Caltech.
The last notable quake in Southern California was in 2014 when a 5.1 magnitude quake hit La Habra. But that occurred on a different fault.
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Friday’s temblor occurred on the San Jacinto fault, the most active in the region, Hauksson said. More than 450 aftershocks have been reported since the initial quake.
The fault is characterized by less compression between its plates compared to the San Andreas or Newport-Inglewood faults, which means when there is slippage and a quake occurs, it’s less severe, Hauksson said.
But the fault is also remarkably long, which may explain why Friday morning’s quake was reportedly felt by people from Santa Barbara to the Mexican border, Hauksson said.
Reflexively, hundreds of people turned to social media to share their experience and also verify that the quake really happened.