Early morning earthquake wakes up Los Angeles California

The tremor hit near Ojai, northwest of Los Angeles, where a 5.1-magnitude temblor dubbed a “hurriquake” hit Sunday night.

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A 3.9-magnitude earthquake woke up the Los Angeles area in California on Tuesday, Aug. 22, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The tremor hit near Ojai, about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles, where a 5.1-magnitude temblor dubbed a “hurriquake” hit Aug. 20.

The 6-mile deep quake hit 5 miles south of Ojai at 4:39 a.m., according to the USGS.

More than 300 people from as far away as Chino and Palo Alto reported feeling the tremor to the agency.

“Ojai needs to chill with these earthquakes,” read one post on Twitter, now rebranded as X.

Several smaller quakes followed.

“i keep waking up and i can’t sleep. ojai is literally like 20 minutes from me and there’s smaller earthquakes that keep happening there,” read another tweet.

What to know about earthquakes

Magnitude measures the energy released at the source of the earthquake, the U.S. Geological Survey says. It replaces the old Richter scale.

Quakes between 2.5 and 5.4 magnitude are often felt but rarely cause much damage, according to Michigan Tech. Quakes below 2.5 magnitude are seldom felt by most people.

Earthquakes’ sudden, rapid shaking can cause fires, tsunamis, landslides or avalanches. They can happen anywhere, but they’re most common in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Puerto Rico and Washington, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

If an earthquake strikes, it’s best to protect yourself right away. Here are tips from experts:

  • If you’re in a car: Pull over and stop. Set your parking brake.

  • If you’re in bed: Turn face-down and cover your head with a pillow.

  • If you’re outdoors: Stay away from buildings. Don’t go inside.

  • If you’re inside: Stay and don’t run outdoors. Stay away from doorways.

The best way to protect yourself during an earthquake is to drop, cover and hold on, officials say.

“Wherever you are, drop down to your hands and knees and hold onto something sturdy,” officials say. “If you’re using a wheelchair or walker with a seat, make sure your wheels are locked and remain seated until the shaking stops.”

Be sure to cover your head and neck with your arms, and crawl under a sturdy table if possible. If no shelter is available, crawl to an interior wall away from windows.

Once under a table, officials say you should hold on with one hand and be ready to move with it.

“There can be serious hazards after an earthquake, such as damage to the building, leaking gas and water lines, or downed power lines,” officials say. “Expect aftershocks to follow the main shock of an earthquake. Be ready to Drop, Cover, and Hold On if you feel an aftershock.”

Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.

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