Following a mild 4.4 magnitude earthquake that hit before dawn Tuesday, centered in the eastern part of Los Angeles County, Sempra Energy’s Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) utility issued quake preparedness tips to its more than 5 million customers.
The temblor jolted millions of residents awake and put first-responders on alert. The event was centered around Pico Rivera, CA, about 12 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.
Citing this year’s devastating quakes in Haiti and Chile (in the 7 and 8 magnitude ranges), SoCalGas said it wanted to remind customers that advance preparation is “critical in getting ready” for the area’s next major quake. The event happened as the region is enjoying early spring-like weather with temperatures in the 80s.
Neither the utilities nor fire or police officials reported any damage, injuries or power outages for the quake that hit shortly after 4 a.m. PDT. Los Angeles County fire officials said the epicenter appears to be near the 1987 center of the Whittier Narrows earthquake that measured 5.9 and did some $350 million in damages.
SoCalGas, which has not had a major quake to deal with since the devastating 1994 Northridge 6.7 magnitude jolt that resulted in $20 billion in damages, 72 deaths and 9,000 injuries, released both before- and after-a-quake tips to its customers, ranging from strapping water heater and knowing meter locations to checking appliances for leaks and shutting off gas at the meter as a last resort.
A Southern California Edison Co. (SCE) spokesperson said there was no damage to its facilities or infrastructure, and the quake in the eastern half of LA County was felt as a very sharp but short jolt with none of the rocking and rolling that often accompanies quakes of larger magnitude. SCE headquarters in Rosemead, CA, is located within five miles of this quake’s center.
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