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Magnitude-5.1 earthquake in Ventura County shakes parts of Southern California

Several aftershocks greater than magnitude-3.0 followed an earthquake near Ojai, about 80 miles northwest of Los Angeles on the same day a tropical storm hit Southern California for the first time in decades.

Mother Nature dealt Southern California a one-two punch Sunday when an earthquake in Ventura County triggered widespread shaking on the same day as the region was drenched by its first tropical storm in decades.

The magnitude-5.1 earthquake at 2:41 p.m. startled Southern Californians who were already braced for the remnant of Hurricane Hilary, which had already brought hours of steady rain during the region’s driest month of the year. There were at least a dozen aftershocks of magnitude-3.0 or greater.

The earthquake was centered about four miles southeast of Ojai, about 80 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

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Shaking was reported in Ventura, Camarillo, Oxnard, Newbury Park, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Santa Barbara, parts of LA’s San Fernando Valley, Malibu, Porter Ranch, Manhattan Beach and other locations.

At Tres Hermanas restaurant in Ojai, security camera video captured images and the jarring sound of shaking. Ojai, a small scenic community on the edge of Los Padres National Forest about 12 miles north of Ventura, has a vibrant downtown village area that features art galleries, shops and bars.

There were no immediate reports of significant damage. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department conducted an aerial survey of Lake Casitas Dam, Matilija Dam and the city of Ojai and found no damage.In Los Angeles, the city fire department went into Earthquake Operation mode with all 106 neighborhood fire stations conducting surveys for damage.

“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.”

A magnitude-5.1 earthquake was reported in 1941 west of Sunday’s quake, Jones said. Some of the 1994 Northridge Earthquake aftershocks were east of the location.Jones said more aftershocks are likely in the coming days.

The hashtag #hurriquake quickly began trending on X following the early afternoon quake.

The earthquake occurred at the same time as a rare tropical storm hit the Los Angeles area for the first time in decades. For the first time ever, Southern California is under a tropical storm warning, and most of Los Angeles County is under a flash flood warning with rain expected into Sunday night.

No tropical storm has made landfall in Southern California since Sept. 25, 1939, when a system lost its hurricane status just before moving onshore in Long Beach. The results were catastrophic.

Millions of Southern Californian’s received urgent back-to-back emergency alerts on their phones Sunday — the first indicated a flash flood warning, the second warning of the Ventura County earthquake.

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