December 14, 2012 – Strong earthquake off the coast of Southern California / Baja California
6.3 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Baja California
Two strong earthquakes just hit far off the California – Baja California coast, the first one being a 6.3 at a depth of 10km and 262km from land, the second one with a magnitude of 6.1 at a depth of 11 km and closer but still not dangerous distance of 142km. Both earthquakes are preliminary magnitudes. Theorical calculations from the USGS are showing that 1,735,000 people would have felt a IV shaking on the mercalli scale (light shaking) for the second earthquake, this shaking includes the cities of Rancho Palos Verdes and Long Beach, California; and a II-III (Weak shaking) for at least 9 millon people including the cities of Los Angeles, Anaheim, Santa Ana and Riverside.
This earthquakes are harmless and should create no damage, a tsunami can’t be generated.
Update: Following the earthquakes, we saw some reports coming from the USGS including a 3.5 Magnitude in Utah and a 4.2 in Southern California, those are FALSE POSITIVES this means that the earthquakes didn’t actually happen and were only a computer generated report.
142km (88mi) SW of Avalon, California
173km (107mi) SSW of Rancho Palos Verdes, California
177km (110mi) SW of San Pedro, California
179km (111mi) SSW of Palos Verdes Estates, California
Update 11:45 UTC : Max. shaking (mainly because of the depth) IV MMI at the coastal cities.
Important Update 12:05 UTC: USGS has removed the 6.1 earthquake from the charts! The 6.3M earthquake still remains but luckily this is safer as the epicenter was 262km off the coast.
Update 12:22 UTC : We will transfer the content of this article towards a special in-depth article for this earthquake. Let’s hope that the other seismic zones in the area (including the San Andreas fault) have not been influenced by the shaking waves and all remains calm the rest of the night and day.
We want to thank our many California users to send us their Experiences almost immediately after the earthquake occurred.
Update 12:26 UTC : USGS has further updated their data to M6.3 instead of the initial M6.4
Update 12:27 UTC : We do see our Californian readers gradually returning to their beds for hopefully a shake-free night
Update 12:41 UTC : The first aftershocks are rattling the epicenter area, but due to distance from the coast people are not feeling it.
Update 13:49 UTC : After analysing the data of our EAAS (Early Earthquake Alerting System) which currently runs in the background, an alert was triggered only 3 minutes after the start of the earthquake. The system runs in testing mode at the moment and will be implemented in the site in no later than 30 to 60 days. It will work on a worldwide scale.
Update 13:54 UTC : People who have subscribed to our Regional California Only Twitter feed @Quake_TrackerCA , will not have received the M6.4 earthquake notification (the afterwards deleted M6.1 was indeed reported). After analysing the location of the epicenter, we found out that it was to the south of the region we had included. We have updated our system to also include this area as it was felt well in Southern California. We encourage our California Twitter users to tell us these things themselves via a reply to @Quake_trackerCA or by commenting in our website.
Image courtesy USGS