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Small earthquake strikes near Los Angeles off California coast

The US Geological Survey said the 3.6-magnitude earthquake hit shortly after 2 AM Pacific time Monday morning in the coastal waters west of downtown Los Angeles.

By Associated Press / June 7, 2010

In this May 25, 2010 photo, the amusement pier in Santa Monica, Calif., is seen in the background as visitors walk the beach. The US Geological Survey says a 3.6-magnitude earthquake struck the Los Angeles area early Monday morning in coastal waters not far from the Santa Monica pier.

AP Photo/Reed Saxon

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Los Angeles

A small undersea earthquake has struck off Santa Monica and was widely felt in the West Los Angeles area.

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The U.S. Geological survey says the 3.6-magnitude temblor hit at 2:17 a.m. PDT Monday and was centered about four miles west of Redondo Beach at a depth of 8 miles.

The USGS website recorded hundreds of hits from respondents saying they felt the quake — mainly people in oceanfront communities but some from central Los Angeles about 20 miles east.

A Santa Monica police spokesman says he felt a "very brief and mild jolt," but had not received any calls from the public.

Christopher Knight, a Scottsdale, Ariz., resident visiting in Marina del Ray, says the jolt lasted about a second. "It was very short shift from left to right."

Scientists say quakes of this magnitude, while often felt, are generally not strong enough to cause injury or damage.

IN PICTURES: The 1906 San Francisco earthquake