As the Westside lay its collective head to rest last night after a terribly lackluster VMA ceremony, we finally got the jolt we'd been waiting for -- in the form of a
3.5 3.4 magnitude earthquake directly beneath Beverly Hills. It was the second to hit the 90210 in a single week.
Last night's (or, technically, this morning's) quake rattled through at exactly 12:03 a.m., dealing a...
... "pretty good jolt" to the city, as one Beverly Hills police officer described it to City News Service.
From personal experience, we can say the jolt had diffused to more of a buzz down at the southern end of Venice Beach. But it was enough to wake us up, and seemed to last a good 30 seconds.
The USGS' handy crowd-sourced shake map shows the earthquake was likewise felt strongly in the San Fernando Valley, downtown L.A. and as far east as Whittier.
On Monday, Beverly Hills was shaken by a slightly smaller 3.2-magnitude quake at 3:26 a.m., measured at a super-shallow 0.1 kilometers below ground level. But last night's jolt was even stronger -- not only because of the increased magnitude, but because it hit directly beneath the city, at a reported 0 kilometers down. [Update: That information came from City News Service. But a spokesman for the USGS tells us that "if it was zero kilometers, you would see a surface rupture." Because the quake was so small and shallow, he says there's no real way to measure its precise depth -- which might be why City News got some sort of "0 kilometers" error message.]
Could this little Beverly Hills mini-swarm hint at a larger event in our future? Probably not, says the USGS spokesman, aside from the fact that the plates beneath Beverly Hills seem to be in a stage of adjustment.
As is required after all local quakes, major and minor, the Los Angeles Fire Department went into "Earthquake Emergency Mode" just after midnight, surveying the city for damage both on the ground and in helicopters overhead. But when no damage was discovered by around 12:45 a.m., the search was called off.
As is also required after all local quakes, L.A. actors and comedians (employed or otherwise) took to Twitter to joke about what a breeze the whole thing was. Some of our favorites:
That earthquake happened right when I got a supernova gem playing Bejeweled. Everything went bonkers over here.
— Dane Cook (@danecook) September 7, 2012
500,000 DEAD in LA earthquake!!!! Just kidding, but I did almost spill some Diet cherry 7 up.
— ADAMDEVINE (@ADAMDEVINE) September 7, 2012
The earthquake in Beverly Hills last night was actually the Kardashians collectively farting.
— RainnWilson (@rainnwilson) September 7, 2012
earthquake in the clubbbb :/ thought it was the dubstep
— Jeffree Star (@JeffreeStar) September 7, 2012
— rob delaney (@robdelaney) September 7, 2012
In much more serious earthquake news, some 64 people died and 6,600 homes were crushed in a series of 5.0-plus tremors that hit China last night. And on Wednesday, Costa Rica was rocked by a 7.6er, its most severe in two decades.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Meanwhile, back in Beverly Hills (via the L.A. Times)...
... the second earthquake in a week caused no reported damage, but it did prompt worried calls to the front desk from guests at the deluxe Montage Beverly Hills hotel.
"Do we need to evacuate?" they asked.
"We do get guest calls as soon as they happen," said Andrew Tredici, overnight supervisor.