LA Earthquakes Cause Destruction, Evacuations in Southern California

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake and more than 100 aftershocks rattled southern California over the weekend, causing light scattered damage around the Los Angeles area and forcing evacuations.

(Photo: Reuters/Gene Blevins)A large crack is seen in a wall of an apartment complex after a magnitude 5.1 earthquake in Fullerton, California March 29, 2014. The quake ruptured water mains in nearby Fullerton, and prompted Disneyland to shut down rides. The quake was centered outside the city of La Habra, about 20 miles (32 km) east of downtown Los Angeles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The epicenter of the magnitude 5.1 quake that struck Friday night was one mile east of La Habra and four miles north of Fullerton in Orange County, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

It was at a depth of about 4.7 miles, and was felt as far as San Diego in the south and Ventura County in the north. Preceded by two smaller foreshocks, the temblor sparked rock slides, overturned cars and caused power outages to nearly 2,000 customers, according to The Associated Press.

Tom Connolly, a resident of La Mirada near La Habra, said the quake lasted about 30 seconds. "We felt a really good jolt. It was a long rumble and it just didn't feel like it would end. Right in the beginning it shook really hard, so it was a little unnerving. People got quiet and started bracing themselves by holding on to each other. It was a little scary."

More than 100 aftershocks followed shortly thereafter, and included a magnitude 4.1 that hit Saturday afternoon with its center a little more than mile southeast of Rowland Heights in Los Angeles County.

Several dozen people in Fullerton had to leave their homes after firefighters discovered foundation problems. The damage displaced 83 residents, and fire crews red-tagged 20 apartment units in a building and six homes.

Authorities in La Habra were also inspecting multiple apartment complexes Saturday while many evacuated residents stayed at the community center, according to Orange County Register.

The Register also reported that the water-main break at Rosecrans and Gilbert in Fullerton closed Gilbert in both directions at the intersection.

A 61-year-old man in Buena Park received injuries in his chest and an arm after a television fell on him in his home. A 21-year-old man in Cypress was stranded in a hotel elevator for about 15 minutes.

Besides, a rockslide triggered by the quake closed Carbon Canyon Road, and caused a car to overturn, according to the California Highway Patrol and Brea police.

The quake also forced Disneyland to cancel its fireworks show and stop rides as a precaution.

The quakes come a week after a magnitude 4.4 temblor struck near downtown Los Angeles.

In 1994, a magnitude 6.7 earthquake killed dozens and caused $42 billion in damage in southern California.