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Date TimeApril 05, 2018
VoiceA POWERFUL 5.3 magnitude earthquake has struck off the coast of southern California, with tremors felt in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Ventura County.
California earthquake: 5.3 magnitude quake strikes off coast amid BIG ONE fears
The quake struck 48 miles south-west of the Channel Islands Beach at 12:30pm local time (8:30pm UK time), according to disaster officials.
The US Geographical Survey (USGS) said the epicentre was about 85 miles west of Los Angeles and 40 miles south of Santa Barbara.
Shocked residents across southern California took to social media to report feeling the earthquake's aftershocks.
Misty Orman tweeted: "Just had to grab hold of the wall from an earthquake here in Santa Barbara. Anyone else feel that?"
Megan Abundis wrote: "I just felt my very first earthquake. My car was shaking in Santa Barbara."
Los Angeles resident Matthew Belloni said: "Earthquake. Pretty strong here in Mid-Wilshire area of LA. Still shaking."
Another concerned Twitter user wrote: "Huge earthquake in Los Angeles. Don't know how big, but my place just shook like never before."
No tsunami warning has been issued following the earthquake, and it is not yet known whether anyone was injured.
A spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) said it was "checking infrastructure and critical locations".
California earthquake: 5.3 magnitude quake strikes off coast amid BIG ONE fears
Ventura County Fire Department (VCFD) tweeted: "Did you feel that? USGS reports a 5.3 shaker 57 kms southwest of Santa Cruz Island.
"Rresidents are reporting feeling here in Ventura County, but no damage reports as of yet.
"VCFD is in a heightened response posture to assist our citizens. Do you have an escape plan?"
The news comes amid heightened fears of California being rocked by a manitude 7.0 earthquake or greater, known as the 'Big One'.
California is located on the Ring of Fire, a huge area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean where earthquakes and volcanic eruptions frequently occur.
Robert Graves, a research geophysicist at the USGS, suggested late last year that the Big One could be overdue by 10 years.
He told Raw Story: "The San Andreas fault in southern California last had a major quake in 1857 (magnitude 7.9).
"Studies that have dated previous major offsets along the fault trace show that there have been about 10 major quakes over the past 1,000-2,000 years.
"The average time between these quakes is about 100-150 years."

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