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Salton Sea still suspected as source of Southland stink



Dead palm trees stand at a former yacht club on the shore of the Salton Sea, the biggest lake in California, which has dried up and refilled numerous times.
Dead palm trees stand at a former yacht club on the shore of the Salton Sea, the biggest lake in California, which has dried up and refilled numerous times.
David McNew/Getty Images

The source of a rotten aroma that roamed more than a 150 miles across Southern California on Monday is still unconfirmed. Regional officials hope to have air sample analysis results on Tuesday, as the smell continues to subside.

Sam Atwood, a spokesman for the South Coast Air Quality Management District, told KPCC:

"Since midnight last night we’ve only had about eight or ten calls of complaints.  Also we have inspectors in the field and they’ve reported some slight to moderate odors so there appear to be some odors present, but nothing like the strength or the widespread dispersion that was present."

Hundreds of complaints were registered Monday, and many pointed to the Salton Sea -- California's largest lake that sits atop the San Andreas fault about 150 miles southeast of Los Angeles -- as a possible cause of the olfactory affront. 

Thunderstorms over the weekend could have bothered bacteria from a recent fish die-off and released a terrible stench that then was trapped in low-hanging clouds. Officials weighed in on the situation:

Air samples were taken from the Salton Sea, Coachella Valley, and nearly a dozen cities across the region.