Ventura was shaken violently by a number of earthquakes centered 2-7 miles southeast of Ojai. The U.S. Geological Survey reports the first and largest quake was 5.1 in magnitude and occurred at 2:41 p.m. on Sunday. Aftershocks of 3.1 to 3.6 in magnitude continue to shake the area, with effects felt in Santa Barbara, as well.

[Update: Aug. 20, 2023, 3:12 p.m.] Closest to Ojai over the Santa Barbara County line, at the Albertsons grocery store in Carpinteria, customers and employees all looked at each other asking if that was an earthquake they were feeling. “We got a pretty good jolt,” said Anthony, a store supervisor, “The banners were swaying back and forth, but nothing fell off the shelves.” If dogs and cats in Santa Barbara are anything to go by, the earthquake was lightly felt in Santa Barbara, which was more captivated by the rain falling from Tropical Storm Hilary.

However, since this story was first posted, additional aftershocks have been registered in Ojai by the USGS. The most recent was a 3.7 magnitude quake at 3:08 p.m. east-southeast of the city.

[Update: Aug. 20, 2023, 3:40 p.m.]. “It’s not unusual to have aftershocks after a 5.1 earthquake,” said Professor Ralph Archuleta, a distinguished professor emeritus in seismology at UC Santa Barbara. He noted the quake seemed located near the Lion Canyon Fault, based on the USGS mapping so far. The Lion fault had not been that active, Prof. Archuleta said, though Ojai had a swarm near Meiner’s Oaks about six months ago.

Asked if another large quake was likely, Prof. Archuleta said the standard USGS response is a 5 percent probability. He didn’t feel the quake himself, in Santa Barbara, where the ground motion was not that large. “The closer you are, the larger the shake,” he said.

USGS Shake Map for the Ojai earthquake | USGS

This is a developing story. Check back for additional details as they become available.


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