Seismologists say Monday's magnitude 4.4 temblor near Westwood could mark the beginning of the end for L.A.'s years-long "earthquake drought."
Typically, they would expect a 4.4-sized earthquake about once a year in the Los Angeles Basin, but that hasn't happened for years.
“We don’t know if this is the end of the earthquake drought we’ve had over the last few years, and we won’t know for many months,” said Caltech seismologist Egill Hauksson.
The magnitude 4.4 earthquake that struck near Westwood at 6:25 a.m. is the most significant shake in Southern California since a 5.5 earthquake hit Chino Hills in 2008.
Significant earthquakes were far more common in the Los Angeles Basin the 1980s and the 1990s, in which the 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake, the 1991 Sierra Madre earthquake and the 1994 Northridge earthquake occurred.
Monday's earthquake was followed up by seven smaller temblors, with two registering as magnitude 2.5 or greater, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The seven quakes all occurred about five to six miles northwest of Westwood, with a magnitude 2.5 temblor hitting at 10:07 a.m. Most of the aftershocks were magnitude 1.3 or smaller, according to the USGS.
Monday's quake struck the northern edge of the Santa Monica Mountains, an area that has not seen much recent seismological activity.
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