LA Escapes Big Quake Damage

Strong temblor causes relatively little harm
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2008 8:07 PM CDT
Police tape surrounds debris that fell on a sidewalk after an earthquake on Tuesday, July 29, 2008, in Los Angeles.    (AP Photo/Ric Francis)
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(Newser) – Residents of LA are letting out a collective 'Phew!" in the wake of today's 5.4 magnitude quake that rattled buildings and nerves but appeared to cause relatively little damage. Reports of minor injuries were surfacing, but no major structural problems—of the sort to compromise buildings and roads—have arisen. By late afternoon, a sense of normalcy had largely returned, the Los Angeles Times reports.

"The most interesting thing to us is that this is the first one we've had in a populated area for a long time," said a seismologist at CalTech. "People have forgotten what an earthquake feels like. We should look at this as an earthquake drill for the Big One that will come one day." About 30 small aftershocks have been reported.