While residents in Southern California sought shelter from Hurricane Hilary, they were also struck by a 5.1 magnitude earthquake.
The epicenter was located northwest of Los Angeles, causing #hurriquake to trend on social media. Fortunately, it resulted in minimal damage, and the hurricane has been downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone. Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass mentioned that over 100 fire stations were inspecting buildings for any potential damage. In a tweet, Ms. Bass reassured that there were no immediate reports of structural damage or injuries caused by the earthquake.
Seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones, speaking with NBC News, found the recent earthquake near Ojai quite intriguing. She pointed out that it marked the first occurrence of a magnitude five earthquake in this precise location since 1932, and even within the Ventura basin. Dr. Jones also issued a warning, stating that more aftershocks were likely in the coming days.
Interestingly, the earthquake coincided with the arrival of post-tropical cyclone Hilary, leaving many residents unsure about where to seek shelter. During the quake, one of her neighbors panicked, not knowing where to go, and shouts could be heard from other people inside their homes.
Additionally, a video captured the moment items fell from supermarket shelves as the earthquake hit, while a man rushed out of the store with his daughter.
The National Hurricane Service has described the ongoing rainfall from the storm as “historic” and warned of life-threatening to locally catastrophic flooding, along with concerns about mudslides and landslides.
Governor Gavin Newsom of California has declared a state of emergency covering most of Southern California. More than 7,500 troops have been mobilized to assist residents in preparing for the storm.
In San Bernardino County, residents have been evacuated due to the heavy rainfall, while the National Weather Service has issued a warning about life-threatening flooding in Ventura County. In just two hours, nearly two inches (five centimeters) of rain have already fallen in Ventura County.