Powerful 5.3 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Off Coast Of Southern California

A 5.3 magnitude earthquake has struck the coast of southern California approx 85 miles west of Los Angeles, according to the US Geographical Survey (USGS).

The geological survey originally called the quake a 5.0, before updating the preliminary reading to a 5.3.

Tremors were felt in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Ventura County.

Residents also reported feeling it on the ground but it is not yet known what the extent of any damage was.

The Express reports: The quake struck 78km south-west of California’s Channel Islands Beach at 12:30pm local time (8:30pm UK time), according to disaster officials.

The US Geographical Survey (USGS) said the epicentre was about 85 miles west of Los Angeles and 40 miles south of Santa Barbara.

Shocked residents took to social media to report feeling the aftershocks.

Megan Abundis tweeted: “I just felt my very first earthquake. My car was shaking in Santa Barbara. Anyone else?”

Matthew Belloni wrote: “Earthquake – pretty strong here in Mid-Wilshire area of LA. Still shaking.”

The USGS has not issued a tsunami warning following the earthquake.

Ventura County Fire Department (VCFD) tweeted: “Did you feel that? USGS reports a 5.3 shaker 57 kms southwest of Santa Cruz Island.

“Rresidents are reporting feeling here in Ventura County, but no damage reports as of yet.

“VCFD is in a heightened response posture to assist our citizens. Do you have an escape plan?”

The news comes amid heightened fears of California being rocked by a manitude 7.0 earthquake or greater, known as the ‘Big One’.

California is located on the Ring of Fire, a huge area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean where earthquakes and volcanic eruptions frequently occur.

Robert Graves, a research geophysicist at the USGS, suggested late last year that the Big One could be overdue by 10 years.