A 5.2-magnitude earthquake shook Southern California early Friday morning, June 10, at about 1 a.m. The event's aftershocks were felt in Los Angeles and throughout San Diego County.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) first reported the earthquake with a magnitude of 5.1. Later on, the agency revised it to 5.2 magnitude.

A series of smaller aftershocks followed, which included to 3.5-magnitude quake in Borrego Springs at 4:14 a.m. This has caused a minor rockslide on the Montezuma Valley Road, which is about 14 miles from Borrego Springs.

The 5.2-magnitude earthquake last Friday resulted in around eight aftershocks within 3 hours and 10 minutes. The strongest aftershocks were the 3.5-magnitude quakes that happened at 1:06 a.m., 1:33 a.m. and 4.14 a.m.

"We get a magnitude 4 or 5 pretty regularly here," said seismologist Jennifer Andrews from California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

The San Jacinto Fault

So far, there are no reported injuries or substantial damages in the Orange, San Diego and Los Angeles counties linked to Friday's 5.2-magnitude earthquake. However, the recent shakes might serve as a wake-up call for many people who live in Southern California.

The recent earthquake happened near Southern California's most active fault, the San Jacinto Fault. The shake happened near the area where a 6-magnitude quake occurred in 1937 and a 5.3-magnitude quake in 1980. Experts have warned that the San Jacinto Fault is a major threat to people living near the area.

"Because the San Jacinto fault cuts into the middle of the Inland Empire - instead of the edge of the desert - it cuts through a lot more people. There's just more people directly living on this fault," said geophysics professor Julian Lozos from the California State University, Northridge in a March interview.

The San Jacinto Fault spans 130 miles. It extends from the San Bernardino County's Cajon Pass all the way to the Mexican border. Its massive length could explain why the event last Friday was felt all the way to the border, explained Caltech geophysics research professor Egill Hauksson.

Since 1937, a total of 19 quakes with a magnitude of 5.0 or higher have been reported on the fault, added Hauksson. The USGS said that the 1918 earthquake on the fault resulted in one death and huge damages to properties in San Jacinto.

During the 1987 Superstition Hills earthquakes, whose magnitudes were reported at 6.5 and 6.7, Imperial County suffered property damages amounting to $3 million.

Photo: Rob Bertholf | Flickr

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