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Alhambra Earthquake: 3.5-Magnitude Quake Jolts San Gabriel Valley and Surrounding Areas

A 3.5-magnitude earthquake struck the San Gabriel Valley on Sunday morning, with its epicenter located in Pasadena, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The quake, which hit at 9:56 a.m., was felt across a wide swath of Southern California, including Los Feliz, Long Beach, Anaheim, San Bernardino, and even as far as San Diego.

The earthquake’s epicenter was pinpointed approximately 2.3 miles north-northeast of South Pasadena and 2.4 miles east-northeast of Alhambra. The tremor, described by many as a “strong jolt,” shook residents in the San Gabriel Valley, downtown Los Angeles, and other nearby areas.

Lisa Derderian, a spokesperson for the City of Pasadena, commented on the widespread reports of the quake: “It was a strong jolt that was felt in Pasadena. Many people are reporting it on Neighborhood apps. Thankfully, there are no reports of injuries or damage.” She also emphasized the importance of earthquake preparedness, advising residents to update their disaster kits, ensure they have sufficient food and supplies, and be ready for potential aftershocks.

Dr. Lucy Jones, a renowned seismologist, was in South Pasadena at the time of the quake. She posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, describing the quake as “sharp and short.” She noted that the earthquake’s focal mechanism showed east-west thrust faulting, similar to the 1987 Whittier Narrows quake, although Sunday’s quake was located slightly west of that historic event.

In a moment of unexpected humor, Msgr. Clement Connolly of Holy Family Church in South Pasadena was delivering his Sunday sermon when the earthquake occurred. He paused briefly, looked around, and quipped, “Must be a sign,” before continuing with the service. Some congregation members held onto the pews during the shaking, but the service resumed without further incident.

The USGS reports that thousands of people across Southern California felt the quake, with reports coming in from areas such as Glendale, Commerce, Highland Park, and Montebello. The quake struck at a depth of about seven miles, a factor that likely contributed to the widespread feeling of the tremor.

Historically, the Los Angeles area experiences an average of five earthquakes with magnitudes between 3.0 and 4.0 per year, based on a recent three-year data sample. Earthquakes in this magnitude range are often felt but rarely cause significant damage.

This recent earthquake serves as a reminder of the seismic activity in the region and the need for continued preparedness. The Department of Homeland Security advises that during an earthquake, individuals should drop to their hands and knees, cover their head and neck with their arms, and seek shelter under a sturdy table if possible. After the shaking stops, it’s crucial to check for hazards such as leaking gas and water lines or downed power lines.

For those looking to improve their earthquake preparedness, the Los Angeles Times offers a newsletter called “Unshaken,” which provides step-by-step guidance on emergency preparedness over six weeks. Topics include building earthquake kits, essential apps, and expert advice from seismologists like Dr. Lucy Jones.

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