Mother Nature struck Southern California hard on Sunday, wetting the region with its first tropical storm in decades while also causing extensive shaking in Ventura County.
Southern Californians were unprepared for the remains of Hurricane Hilary, which had already dropped hours of constant rain amid the region’s driest month of the year, and were surprised by the magnitude-5.1 earthquake at 2:41 p.m. At least a dozen aftershocks with a magnitude of 3.0 or higher occurred.
About 80 miles northwest of Los Angeles, the earthquake’s epicenter was four miles southeast of Ojai.
There have been reports of shaking in a number of places, including Ventura, Camarillo, Oxnard, Newbury Park, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Santa Barbara, sections of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, Malibu, Porter Ranch, and Manhattan Beach.
Security camera footage from the Tres Hermanas restaurant in Ojai recorded sights and the jarring sound of shaking. About 12 miles north of Ventura, in the Los Padres National Forest, is the small, picturesque town of Ojai. It includes a bustling downtown village area with pubs, stores, and art galleries.
No initial reports of major damage were made. Aerial inspections by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department revealed no damage to the Lake Casitas Dam, Matilija Dam, or the city of Ojai.
All 106 neighborhood fire stations in Los Angeles conducted inspections for damage as part of the city’s fire department’s Earthquake Operation.
“This location is interesting to have it there,” said seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones. “This is first time we’ve had a 5 since 1932 in exactly this location, and even within the Ventura basin.”
According to Jones, a magnitude-5.1 earthquake was observed in 1941, about west of the Sunday quake. East of the site, there were some tremors of the Northridge earthquake in 1994.
More aftershocks are anticipated in the following days, according to Jones.
Following the earthquake in the early afternoon, the hashtag #hurriquake became popular on X quite quickly.
An unusual tropical storm made its first appearance in the Los Angeles region in decades at the same time as the earthquake. For the first time ever, Southern California is under a tropical storm warning, and rain is predicted to continue through Sunday night in most of Los Angeles County.
Since Sept. 25, 1939, when a system lost its hurricane strength just before reaching onshore in Long Beach, no tropical storm has made landfall in Southern California. The outcomes were disastrous.
On Sunday, millions of residents in Southern California received two urgent emergency messages on their phones: the first warned of a flash flood, and the second warned of an earthquake in Ventura County.