Did you feel it? Earthquake rattles parts of San Diego County

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

The USGS reported a magnitude 4.1 earthquake struck southeast of Ocotillo Wells early Monday morning.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — People across San Diego County reported feeling an earthquake Monday morning. 

The USGS reported that a magnitude 4.1 earthquake struck southeast of Ocotillo Wells at 5:17 a.m. Monday. Ocotillo Wells is east of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and northeast of San Diego.

Did you feel it?

Tips for before, during and after an earthquake

How can the average person protect themselves from such a strong earthquake?

The City of San Diego has published a list detailing what you can do before, during and after an earthquake.

Identify safe spots in your home and eliminate hazards like unsecured items on walls.Prepare a disaster kit containing emergency water, food and supplies.Make sure everyone knows who to contact and where to go if you get separated. If you are indoors, drop to the ground, cover your head and neck and hold on to the leg of a table or desk so it won’t slide away from you.If you are outside, stay away from buildings, trees, streetlights and power lines.If you are in a vehicle, park away from those same objects and avoid bridges. Check your home for damages and stop any fires or gas leaks that may have occurred. Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, sturdy shoes and work gloves to protect yourself from dangerous debris.Be prepared for aftershocks.

What would happen if a 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit San Diego?

If a 6.9 magnitude quake happened along the Rose Canyon Fault, which mirrors the path the I-5 freeway takes from La Jolla to Downtown, it could cause an estimated $38 billion of damage with up to 800 deaths. 

This exact scenario was analyzed in a 2020 report by the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute.

Such an earthquake would be tied for the 13th-strongest to ever hit California. The state’s other 6.9M earthquake hit the Bay Area in 1989, causing up to $10 billion in damages, injuring 3,753 people and killing 63.

In fact, one 2015 study from the Southern California Earthquake Center said there is a 75% chance of a 7 magnitude earthquake hitting Southern California by 2045. 

“We cannot predict earthquakes,” said Dr. Pat Abbott, professor of geology emeritus at San Diego State University. “But geologically we are overdue for what we estimate to be a 7.8 magnitude on the Salton Sea.”

However, if such a devastating quake were to hit the region, the damage would still be significantly less than what has just happened in Turkey. Back-to-back earthquakes — one a 7.8 magnitude and the other a 7.5 magnitude   — have killed at least 11,000 people.

“California is not going to receive that same level of destruction,” Dr. Abbott said. “I’m not saying we’re going to experience destruction… but widespread collapse of buildings, no.”

WATCH THROWBACK: Northridge earthquake aerial views of damage in 1994

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.