A series of quakes rolled across San Diego County late Monday evening with the most powerful registering a magnitude 5.7, according to the U.S. Geological Survey website.
The quakes started at 9:26 p.m. with one centered 5 miles southeast of Ocotillo. That first temblor was quickly followed by a series of quakes, according to the USGS. One recorded as a 3.9 magnitude happened at 9:29 p.m. Then one registering a 3.6 magnitude occurred at 9:31 p.m., followed by a 3.2 magnitude at 9:33 p.m.
Many of the smaller quakes were recorded less than 10 miles from Ocotillo Wells, to the west and ESE of the area.
The USGS originally reported the quake as a magnitude 5.9 but later downgraded it to a magnitude 5.7. As of 10:15 p.m., there were no reports of any damage around the county.
The short but powerful quake hit in a strong first wave, then rolled for some time afterward. The quake that emanated nearly 70 miles from San Diego was felt all across the region, including in Otay Mesa and as far north as Escondido.
The shaking briefly interrupted the Padres baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays Monday night. Announcers could be heard describing the quake, "We just had an earthquake boys, feel it?"
As of 6 a.m. Tuesday, the USGS reported more than 100 aftershocks with the largest measuring a 4.5 magnitude.
SDSU Geology Professor Emeritus Pat Abbott, Ph.D. believes Monday night's quake was an aftershock of the Easter quake which was centered not far away and measured as a magnitude 7.2. That ruptured a good 60 miles or so of the Earth’s surface in Baja California.
“San Diegans have been used to small ones that last for short periods of time and here two months later, an aftershock bigger than what we normally get for our main shock,” Abbott said.
The damage done by the April quake is what's making us more aware of the smaller quake.
“If we have a movement along a two-mile long area, four miles deep, that puts a lot of other pressure on the areas right in front of it and right above it,” Abbott said. “Some of these numerous small aftershocks are coming up closer to the surface, of course the closer to the surface they are, the more energy gets dumped on the surface,” Abbott said.
Expect to feel more temblors this week. If we take this event all by itself, that means in the next few days there will be aftershocks to this aftershock in the low 4.0’s in the next few days, Abbott said Tuesday.
On Monday night, it did not take long for the Internet to hum with tweets, Facebook posts and e-mails about the temblor.
"Felt it pretty good in the Lake Murray area," @techguytim tweeted. "Didn't last too long."
"5.9 quake rocks the house big time in Rancho Bernardo," added @jflarue1.
On Facebook, the comments were similar.
"Had a small jolt followed by a much more violent jolt here in Imperial Beach," posted Aaron Slater. "Much more violent shaking than the Easter quake even though it was smaller."
The quake threw quite a scare into some residents.
"It freaked me out," said Sylvia Richards on Facebook. "I live in older apartments so I feel much safer outside ... apparently all my neighbors had the same idea."
"At first it felt like a truck crashed into my apartment complex, and then I felt moderate shaking for a good 20 seconds," Dakota Green posted. "My computer chair glided toward my door. Nowhere near the Easter quake, but I surely felt it!"
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