A 5.1 earthquake rattles Ojai as Hilary pounds. Southland

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake was reported Sunday at 2:41 p.m. near Ojai. (U.S. Geological Survey)
A magnitude 5.1 earthquake was reported Sunday at 2:41 p.m. near Ojai. (U.S. Geological Survey)

On Sunday, a quake of a magnitude of 5.1 struck near Ojai, unsettling the greater Southern California region as people were contending with torrential rainfall brought on by Tropical Storm Hilary.

The earthquake struck at exactly 2:41 p.m. and was felt all around Southern California.

According to the Director of Communications for the Ventura County Fire Department, Scott Thomsen, the department promptly put its earthquake plan into action, which included moving the fire trucks out of the firehouses.


He stated that there had been no reports of damage up to this point, but that they were continuing to check.

Thomsen pointed out that the earthquake occurred just as authorities were getting ready for Hilary, saying, “We are in the middle of the first tropical storm since 1939, and we just had an earthquake.”

Scientists who study earthquakes were quick to point out that the tremor that occurred on Sunday had absolutely nothing to do with Hilary’s visit.

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Ojai Mayor Betsy Stix told The Times on Sunday afternoon that she had spoken with emergency personnel and that, despite the fact that a power line was believed to have been down and a mobile tower was destroyed, there was relatively little damage other than that.

Stix stated that she was working from her home office at the time the shaking began. The floor began to shake, the frames on the walls began to rattle, and “the cats scattered and ran.” She stated that this was a day that would go down in history, what with the earthquake and the tropical storm that occurred today.

Ojai merchants claimed that the damage was rather mild.

The manager of the Ojai Beverage Co. on Ojai Avenue, Nick Howard, reported that a bottle of tequila worth $900 and a few wine bottles had been knocked over, but the store had otherwise suffered relatively little damage in terms of the amount of stock that was destroyed.


OVA Arts is a well-known art gallery that is noted for showcasing the work of local artists. Patty McFall, who works at the gallery, stated, “We sustained some damage. There were some components that got lost. “I think three or four of the pieces were broken.”

According to McFall, a sculptor and jeweller, some of his creations were able to withstand a fall in the Arcada Plaza, which is located in the middle of Ojai.

According to Franz Lidz, a journalist who lives in Ojai, the earthquake was accompanied by a terrifying sound that sounded like things falling and glass shattering.

“It was quick, obnoxious, and aggressive. According to a text message that he sent to The Times, “the entire house shook as if a Mack truck had crashed into it.”

“Bernice, one of the family dogs, felt it first,” he continued to say. “She had an immediate realisation that something very serious had gone wrong. Although my wife Maggie and I were slower to react, we realised quite quickly — within 15 seconds, perhaps — that we were in the midst of an earthquake.

“Thank goodness, the people are alright, our neighbours appear to be fine, the new car that we have parked in our garage is fine, and Bernice, one of our mini-schnauzers who is seven years old, is doing almost as well as she can. Even after a half an hour, she is still trembling, breathing heavily, and cowering on Maggie’s lap. Naturally, Leavin’, her go-to pal for chilling out, is already sound asleep.

Shortly after the earthquake, officials from Ventura County fire encouraged property owners in the vicinity of the epicentre to inspect their buildings for any signs of damage.

Ojai was the location that was most severely affected by the earthquake. According to the calculations done by the United States Geological Survey, the intensity of the shaking there was deemed to be moderate based on the Modified Mercalli Intensity scale. That much force is sufficient to shatter windows, topple over precarious objects, and halt pendulum clocks.

According to the scale, Ventura, Oxnard, and Camarillo most likely experienced light shaking during the earthquake. This is loud enough to shake dishes and windows, and it can be described as having the sensation of a vehicle crashing into a structure.

The epicentre of the earthquake was located in a remote part of Sulphur Mountain, which is located four miles southeast of Ojai and ten miles northeast of Ventura. That is around 90 kilometres to the north of the downtown area of Los Angeles.

The officials of Ventura County have determined that the earthquake took place near the Sisar fault system.

A seismologist by the name of Lucy Jones stated on social media that the earthquake that occurred in Ventura County on Sunday was preceded by a sequence of tiny foreshocks that began on Saturday AM, the strongest of which had a magnitude of 2.5.

Aftershocks have continued to occur since the initial earthquake.

Residents of Southern California have reported getting an early warning for the earthquake on the MyShake app for their smartphones before feeling the ground begin to shake. According to the account of one participant, they were given a warning for seven seconds.

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