Magnitude-5.3 earthquake strikes off Ventura County coastline

A strong earthquake centered off the Ventura County coast rocked parts of the Southland today, swaying buildings in a wide area stretching from Woodland Hills to West Los Angeles to Burbank.

The U.S. Geological Survey initially reported the shaker was a magnitude-5.0, but it was later upgraded to magnitude-5.3.

Seismologists at Caltech said the temblor was the strongest quake to hit the area since a magnitude-5.1 shaker in La Habra on March 28, 2014.

The temblor was centered 23 miles east-southeast of Santa Rosa Island and 36 miles southwest of Channel Islands Beach, according to the USGS.

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. The Los Angeles Fire Department went into "earthquake mode," during which it pulls its trucks out of stations and crews begin sweeping neighborhoods to check for damage to key infrastructure, such as roadways and bridges.

Los Angeles police also made checks of "infrastructure and critical locations."

Shaking was reported by residents in areas such as Tarzana, San Dimas, Long Beach, Pomona and Torrance.

Fire officials in Ventura County, close to the epicenter of the quake, also reported no damage from the shaker.

National Weather Service officials said there was no threat of a tsunami from the off-shore quake.

Officials from various emergency-response agencies said residents should use the quake as a reminder to formulate an escape plan, prepare and earthquake kit for their homes and cars and follow the advice to "drop, cover and hold on" when shaking occurs.

Caltech seismologist Susan Hough said the university's seismology lab in Pasadena received a roughly 10-second warning of the quake through the still-under-development early warning system.

A great source of information about earthquakes and earthquake preparedness can be found on the Earthquake Country website.

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