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L.A. earthquake rattles, Indonesia quake rocks

Los Angeles earthquake: A magnitude 3.8 quake rattled nerves but caused no serious damage in L. A. Wednesday. But in Indonesia, a magnitude 6.4 earthquake damaged 20 buildings, and caused at least one death. 

By FAKHRURRADZIE GADEAssociated Press / July 25, 2012

Motorists ride past a sign showing a tsunami evacuation route in Banda Aceh, Aceh province, Indonesia. A magnitude 6.4 quake hit Wednesday, but there was no tsunami generated.

AP Photo/Heri Juanda

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Los Angeles and Banda Aceh, Indonesida

Seismologists say a mild earthquake widely felt throughout Southern California was centered along the coast west of downtown Los Angeles.

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The U.S. Geological Survey says the magnitude-3.8 quake struck at 3:18 a.m. Wednesday. The epicenter was 2 miles east-southeast of Marina del Rey near Culver City and Inglewood.

A Sheriff's Department dispatcher says it "wasn't much of a quake" and that he hasn't had any calls from the public about it.

RELATED: Asia's five biggest earthquakes

Fire Department spokesman Matt Spence says firefighters rolled out of stations throughout the city and surveyed 470 square miles. No infrastructure damage was found, and no injuries have been reported.

Meanwhile, a powerful earthquake jolted western Indonesia early Wednesday, killing a man and sending panicked residents fleeing from homes in towns and villages across Sumatra island's northern tip. No tsunami was generated.

The magnitude 6.4 quake hit about 7:30 a.m. (0030 GMT) and was centered 28 kilometers (17 miles) northwest of Aceh province's Sinabang town at a depth of 45 kilometers (28 miles), according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho from the National Disaster Management Agency said a 70-year-old man who was suffering from hypertension died as he fled in panic and fell down, but there were no other casualties reported.

Twenty buildings were damaged, including mosques, public health centers, schools and local government offices, the agency said.

Suharjono, from Indonesia's meteorology and geophysics agency, said the earthquake had no potential to generate a tsunami. He said a quake that close to the coast would have to be more powerful to generate a giant wave.

Residents of Sinabang on Simeulue island, off the west coast of Sumatra and close to the epicenter, said the quake struck as people were gathered for pre-dawn meals and prayers during the fasting month of Ramadan.

"A few seconds strong earthquake shook everything around us," said Ahmadi, a trader at the town's market. "Everybody ran out from homes ... many screaming in panic, but there was no damage around us."

The panic extended to several towns and villages in Aceh's neighboring province of North Sumatra. Fearing aftershocks, many refused to go back inside for hours.

Indonesia straddles a series of fault lines that makes the vast island nation prone to volcanic and seismic activity.

A giant quake on Dec. 26, 2004, triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed 230,000 people, half of them in Aceh.

RELATED: Asia's five biggest earthquakes

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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