Two quakes in five days: Caltech seismologist explains Beverly Hills' faults

A magnitude-3.2 earthquake centered in Beverly Hills shook much of Los Angeles' Westside early Monday morning. A slightly larger one struck Beverly Hills a few days later. Did you feel them?

A shallow magnitude-3.4 earthquake struck at 12:03 a.m. Friday in Beverly Hills, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Kate Hutton, a seismologist at Caltech, says it was reported felt as far north as Simi Valley and as far south as Los Alamitos.

"Within the epicentral area, it was considered a light earthquake, but it definitely woke people up," Hutton says.

The fact that it was the second quake to hit Beverly Hills in five days also woke people up. Early Monday morning, a 3.2 magnitude temblor shook the same area. Hutton says it’s not cause for alarm because earthquakes don't often occur by themselves.

"They normally have at least some aftershocks and maybe a foreshock or so," Hutton explains. "And occasionally, we have what we call a dub-let of earthquakes where you have two that are similar in size in the same locations.”

Hutton says Beverly Hills also sits in a complicated area - along the Santa Monica fault, and out of an area where the northern end of the Newport-Inglewood fault runs into the Santa Monica fault.

"There’s several faults to choose from," she says. "A quake of this size could be on a fault that’s too small to be mapped."

Neither Beverly Hills earthquake caused damage or injuries.

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