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Jolt That Woke Up Los Angeles Won’t Impact Bay Area Earthquake Risk

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A magnitude 4.4 earthquake struck near Encino in Los Angeles County on the morning of March 17, 2014. (CBS)

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake struck near Encino in Los Angeles County on the morning of March 17, 2014. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — A magnitude 4.4 earthquake that struck Los Angeles Monday morning won’t impact seismic activity in the Bay Area, according to a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

“Not that we can tell,” seismologist David Oppenheimer told KCBS Monday evening.

“What happens in Southern California really doesn’t impact the state of stress in Northern California,” Oppenheimer said.

Monday’s quake struck around 6:25 a.m. near Encino. There are no reports of significant damage or injuries.

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Oppenheimer said large quakes relieve stress on fault lines, but only locally. He cited the aftermath of the 1906 great San Francisco earthquake and fire as an example. Following the magnitude 7.8 quake and the aftershock sequence, there were essentially no quakes larger than magnitude 5.0 in the area until 1955.

The seismologist also brought up the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake and said that there have been fewer earthquakes in the East Bay and South Bay since then.

The earthquake also provided a test of a prototype earthquake warning system. Oppenheimer said the system worked correctly, but only gave a few of seconds warning to people who were several miles from the epicenter. People above the epicenter were in a “blind zone” and did not receive a warning.

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