Southern California Rattled By Magnitude 5.3 Earthquake

A magnitude 5.3 Earthquake just rattled Southern California and was felt in Los Angeles, according to the US Geological Survey.

The quake was centered off California's coast near Oxnard. There is no tsunami threat at this time.



No injuries or damage have been reported.


chumbawamba VWAndy Thu, 04/05/2018 - 18:56 Permalink

Can we get this cleared up, whoever ZH writer people are?

"No injuries or damage have been reported."

Yeah, no shit.  This is not California's first earthquake, we've been dealing with them for decades.  The building codes are all such now that most buildings (including and especially houses, which are all primarily constructed of wood with sometimes steel reinforcement in earthquake zones) can withstand at least an 8.0 before serious structural damage occurs.

Here's something I lifted from a discussion resulting from a search:

So I'm a structural engineer, so if this gets kind of technical that's why.

In California, buildings are designed for a Maximum Considered Earthquake. Basically they have been designed for the maximum force that the building code can consider feasible (I believe the maximum known earthquake from the San Andreas was a magnitude 8.0).

For most of the country the maximum earthquake has a 2% probability of exceedance in 50 years (2500 year return period).

I will say that wood single story residences are some of the strongest structures in existence. So much so that most of them are exempted from being reviewed by a structural engineer.

Also, an interesting side note is each magnitude increases the amount of energy released by 32. So the 9.0 that Japan just felt was roughly 1,000 times more energy than the Northridge quake.

What damage usually does occur to houses after a major quake in California has to do with the foundation, either the house slips off it if there was heavy lateral movement, or it breaks up from not being flexible while the ground is literally waving.  The least of your problems is cracks in the walls after a big one.

Any skyscraper in SF will withstand just about any magnitude of earthquake.  They were all built after the great earthquake of 1906 FFS.  They already thought about this shit when they designed and built them.  Same for L.A. and everywhere else there are tall builds near a faultline, which have all been mapped out for the most part (they occasionally still find new ones).

So, ZH Writer Persons, unless it's a minimum magnitude 7.0, don't bother.

I am Chumbawamba.

In reply to by VWAndy

ihatebarkingdogs Thu, 04/05/2018 - 16:09 Permalink

I live and work in South Bay. I was sitting in my truck eating my burger. Thought someone was shaking the truck to get my attention. Ahhhh, "earthquake". I continued eating my burger.