Southern California Rattled by Magnitude 3.3 Earthquake

by Victoria Santiago
(Photo by Ivan Damanik/NurPhoto) (Photo by NurPhoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Most of Los Angeles was rattled by a deep earthquake early Tuesday morning. The quake, which hit at 9:26 a.m., had a magnitude of 3.3. According to one earthquake expert, Dr. Lucy Jones, the depth of the quake was “quite deep.” The depth of the quake was more than nine miles, per the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The USGS uses a survey called “Did You Feel It?” to judge how far the quake was felt. Most of the “Did You Feel It?” responses for this Southern California quake came from Long Beach and South Gate. However, outlying answers to the survey suggest that it was felt as far away as Pauma Valley in San Diego County. That’s a whopping 86 miles away from where the quake hit in Cudahy, Los Angeles County.

As of right now, there have been no reports of any injuries or damage caused by the earthquake.

California Is Second to One State in Earthquake Frequency, Intensity

In terms of quake frequency and intensity, CA has almost every single state beat, except for one. The only state that has more earthquakes than the Golden State is Alaska.

At the end of 2021, one CA earthquake was so intense that it was felt in Oregon. The quake happened off the coast of Northern California on December 20. It was almost double the magnitude of yesterday’s Southern California earthquake, with a magnitude of 6.2.

The quake was originally classified by the California Geological Survey (CGS) as 5.9, but that number got updated once it ended. The CGS even took to social media to comment on the quake. “Moderate to strong shaking was recorded by the seismic network along the coast. The earthquake was felt in San Francisco by this CGS geologist,” the state agency tweeted.

Thankfully, just like yesterday’s smaller quake, there were no injuries or damage reported from the 6.2 quake.

Deep Quakes Are Rare, But They Do Happen

Yesterday’s earthquake in Los Angeles County was deep, according to quake experts. When compared to average earthquakes that happen, this is true. Generally, most quakes happen within a few dozen miles of the Earth’s surface. However, scientists have confirmed what could possibly be the deepest earthquake ever. Again, yesterday’s quake reached nine miles in depth. For comparison, the deepest quake ever hit 467 miles below the surface. Not only is that depth staggering, but scientists didn’t even think it could happen.

Before this quake, which happened about six years ago, scientists thought rocks that far down wouldn’t be able to break apart. It was widely thought that the rocks would be too “putty-like” to break apart. In addition to that, the pressure and temperature that far down are already incredibly high. Now that we know earthquakes like this are possible, scientists will be able to study exactly how they happen.