Southern California shaken by 13 earthquakes over 25 minutes

<span>An aerial view of agricultural fields in Imperial county in El Centro, California, on 23 July 2020. The cluster of earthquakes came two days after a 4.6 magnitude earthquake hit near Malibu.</span><span>Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images</span>
An aerial view of agricultural fields in Imperial county in El Centro, California, on 23 July 2020. The cluster of earthquakes came two days after a 4.6 magnitude earthquake hit near Malibu.Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Parts of California were hit by more than a dozen earthquakes overnight, with 13 shaking the state during a span of just 25 minutes.

“Good morning Southern California! Did you feel the magnitude 4.8 earthquake about two miles north-west of El Centro at 12.36am? The #ShakeAlert system was activated,” the United States Geological Survey Shake Alert account posted on X.

El Centro is a city in the Imperial Valley in the southern California border region. The rattling continued until 1.01am, when the 13th quake of the series that began less than a half hour earlier was recorded.

“It has been a busy night to our east,” the National Weather Service’s San Diego office posted on X. “Several small earthquakes have occurred in El Centro in the past 15 minutes. A couple of them were felt at our office. As of 12.53am there have been 13!”

Officials said the USGS’s Shake Alert system estimated at least one of the earthquakes registered a magnitude above 5.0, triggering alerts to cell phones.

The rapid cluster of earthquakes came two days after a 4.6 magnitude earthquake hit several miles north-west of Malibu on Friday. Authorities said no major damage or injuries had been reported.

Dr Lucy Jones, a California quake expert known as “the Beyoncé of Earthquakes”, told the news station KTLA that there was a 5% chance of a larger earthquake in southern California soon after. But it would not be connected to a larger, 5.7 magnitude temblor that shook the Big Island of Hawaii hours earlier on Friday.