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Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

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Americas

Moderate earthquake shakes Los Angeles

Latest update : 2009-05-18

A 5.0-magnitude earthquake jolted the US city of Los Angeles on Sunday, shuddering buildings for several seconds. There were no reports of casualties or damage, officials said.

AFP - A moderate 5.0-magnitude earthquake rattled Los Angeles Sunday but there were no reports of casualties or damage, officials said.

The quake, initially recorded as a 4.7 magnitude temblor, was centered just 10 miles (15 kilometers) southwest of downtown Los Angeles at a depth of 13 kilometers, the United States Geological Survey said.

The quake was felt across the region, shuddering buildings throughout Los Angeles, witnesses said.

AFP journalists reported that the quake knocked objects from shelves and lasted for several seconds.

The reading was based on the open-ended Moment Magnitude scale, now used by US seismologists, which measures the area of the fault that ruptured and the total energy released.

The temblor came after a 5.4 earthquake jolted Los Angeles last July, the most powerful seismic shock to rock the city in 14 years.

Geologists say an earthquake capable of causing widespread destruction is 99 percent certain of hitting California within the next 30 years.

A study published last year said a 7.8 magnitude quake could kill 1,800 people, injure 50,000 more and damage 300,000 buildings.

A 6.7 earthquake in Los Angeles in 1994 left at least 60 people dead and caused an estimated 10 billion dollars in damage, while a 6.9 quake in San Francisco in 1989 claimed 67 lives.

 

Date created : 2009-05-18

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