“I was in bed, and I heard the rumbling. The bed was moving,” Jurdi said. “I jumped out of bed and ran to the kids’ room. Everybody was asleep.”
Broadcasters live on the air immediately announced that an earthquake was occurring. Anchors at KTLA-TV took cover underneath their desk before quickly resuming the broadcast by seeking USGS information.
The quake was somewhat unusual because of its location within the Santa Monica Mountains, a 40-mile-long range that crosses Los Angeles and stretches west through Malibu to Ventura County.
Seismologist Egill Hauksson, a veteran researcher at Caltech, said it was the only magnitude-4.4 temblor within the range since recording of earthquakes began.
“The Santa Monica Mountains are a very old rock formation, hundreds of millions of years old, and we sort of think of it as being a very rigid block. And the earthquakes tend to cluster either north of them or south of them but don’t seem to be occurring within the mountains,” he told a Caltech news conference.
The quake was, however, “par for the course in Southern California” and likely would be studied only briefly to understand how it fits in with previous activity, Hauksson said.
Southern California has been in a seismic lull since significant quakes of the 1980s and 1990s. Whether Monday’s quake signaled an end to that “earthquake drought” won’t be known for many months because it takes a long period to show whether the rate of activity has changed, he said.