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Ojai area experiences a 5.1 magnitude earthquake, causing unease as Hurricane Hilary impacts Southern California.

Ojai area experiences a 5.1 magnitude earthquake, causing unease as Hurricane Hilary impacts Southern California.Ojai area experiences a 5.1 magnitude earthquake, causing unease as Hurricane Hilary impacts Southern California.

Ojai area experiences a 5.1 magnitude earthquake, causing unease as Hurricane Hilary impacts Southern California.

Publish – 21 aug , 2023

On Sunday, a 5.1 magnitude earthquake occurred near Ojai, causing widespread jitters throughout the broader Southern California area, coinciding with the region’s battle against heavy downpours from Tropical Storm Hilary.

The seismic event reverberated across Southern California, striking precisely at 2:41 p.m.

Scott Thomsen, the Director of Communications at Ventura County Fire, stated that the department promptly activated its earthquake response protocol, which involves relocating their trucks away from the fire stations. Thomsen mentioned, ‘As of now, we have received no reports of damage, but we’re conducting thorough assessments.’

Thomsen highlighted that the earthquake arrived in tandem with the anticipation of Tropical Storm Hilary: ‘While we are currently grappling with the first tropical storm since 1939, an earthquake has also unfolded.’

Seismologists were swift to clarify that the earthquake on Sunday bore no connection to the advent of Hilary.

Ojai Mayor Betsy Stix conveyed to The Times on Sunday afternoon that she had conferred with emergency authorities. She indicated that despite reports of a downed power line and a slightly damaged cellphone tower, overall damage remained minimal.

Ojai area experiences a 5.1 magnitude earthquake, causing unease as Hurricane Hilary impacts Southern California.
A magnitude 5.1 earthquake was reported Sunday at 2:41 p.m. near Ojai. (U.S. Geological Survey)

Ojai area experiences a 5.1 magnitude earthquake, causing unease as Hurricane Hilary impacts Southern California.

Stix recounted her experience being in her home office when the tremors commenced. The frames adorning her walls began to quiver, the floor exhibited an unsettling sway, and even “the cats scattered and fled.” She commented that with the convergence of the tropical storm and the earthquake, the day was bound to be etched in the annals of history.

Business proprietors in Ojai shared accounts of minimal damage. Nick Howard, the manager of Ojai Beverage Co. on Ojai Avenue, detailed that while a $900 bottle of tequila and a handful of wine bottles had tumbled, the store had suffered negligible losses in terms of merchandise.

Patty McFall from OVA Arts, a renowned art gallery recognized for showcasing local artists’ creations, noted, “We experienced some damage. A few pieces fell, resulting in three or four breakages.” McFall, who is both a sculptor and jeweler, mentioned that certain artworks had managed to withstand a fall in the heart of Ojai’s Arcada Plaza.

Residing in Ojai, journalist Franz Lidz described the earthquake’s arrival with a cacophony of objects crashing and glass shattering. In a text message to The Times, he conveyed, “It was abrupt, deafening, and forceful. The entire house shuddered, as though a heavy-duty truck had collided into it.”

He continued, “Bernice, one of our family dogs, sensed it first. She immediately detected that something was profoundly amiss. My wife Maggie and I took a bit longer to grasp the situation, although we swiftly realized — perhaps within 15 seconds? — that we were amidst an earthquake.

Ojai area experiences a 5.1 magnitude earthquake, causing unease as Hurricane Hilary impacts Southern California.
A magnitude 5.1 earthquake was reported Sunday at 2:41 p.m. near Ojai. (U.S. Geological Survey)

Fortunately, everyone remains unharmed, our neighbors appear to be safe, our recently acquired car in the garage remains unscathed, and Bernice, our seven-year-old mini-schnauzer, is mostly alright. Even though half an hour has passed, she’s still trembling, panting, and seeking refuge on Maggie’s lap. Meanwhile, Leavin’, her calm companion, has already drifted into slumber.”

Shortly after the earthquake, Ventura County Fire requested property owners near the epicenter to inspect their structures for any potential damage.

The region most significantly affected was Ojai, where the shaking’s intensity was categorized as moderate according to the Modified Mercalli Intensity scale, as calculated by the U.S. Geological Survey. This level of intensity is capable of shattering windows, toppling unstable objects, and halting pendulum clocks.

Ventura, Oxnard, and Camarillo likely experienced light shaking on the Modified Mercalli Intensity scale, which is sufficient to jolt dishes and windows and can resemble the sensation of a truck colliding with a building.

The earthquake’s epicenter was situated four miles southeast of Ojai and ten miles northeast of Ventura, within a remote section of Sulphar Mountain. This location is situated 60 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

Officials from Ventura County indicated that the quake occurred along the Sisar fault system.

Renowned seismologist Lucy Jones shared on social media that the Ventura County earthquake on Sunday was preceded by a sequence of minor foreshocks, with the largest registering a magnitude of 2.5, beginning on Saturday morning.

The main quake has been followed by a series of aftershocks.

Residents of Southern California reported receiving an early earthquake warning through their MyShake app on their cellphones prior to feeling the tremors. One individual mentioned receiving a seven-second advance notice.

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