San Diego Trembles Under 4.6 Magnitude Earthquake Amid Ongoing Wildfires

A 4.6 magnitude earthquake hit east of Los Angeles, California late on Friday. The shaking was felt by residents in nearby San Diego though it appears to have caused more shock than damage.

The earthquake struck near South El Monte and the U.S. Geological Survey reports its effects were felt Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos, Bonsall, Poway, Chula Vista and Vista.

The minor seismic event has raised concerns that another, larger could follow it, but reports suggest there is just a 5 percent chance of a more serious disturbance over the following 24 hours.

Social media users in the impacted areas were quick to express their shock and shared jokes about the events of 2020.

"That earthquake was completely unnecessary to the storyline," one Twitter user wrote.

"Maybe these fires and earthquakes is just California's way of scaring off everyone that moves to LA and complains about it all day," another user wrote.

There was also some political humor and references to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as people sought to ease their minds following their reported surprise at the tremors.

"The earthquake was god warning us about the deficit," tweeted Ken Klippenstein, a reporter at The Nation. The federal budget deficit is widely expected to become a major political issue in the coming months.

While Twitter users had a sense of humor thanks to the limited damage caused by the earthquake, there were also more serious messages from experts and public officials about an area that has been prone to seismic activity.

"SoCal just experienced an M 4.5 quake, probably along the Puente Hills thrust fault system, the same one that ruptured in the 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake," Caltech tweeted.

The Whitter Narrows earthquake was much more serious. A 5.9 magnitude quake, it resulted in three deaths, 200 injuries and millions of dollars in property damage when it struck in the same area.

By contrast, California authorities reported no deaths, injuries or serious damage and advised the public that no action was needed at this time. Seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones explained why Friday's quake shouldn't raise major concerns.

"Although tonight's quake is in the same location as 1987 Whittier Narrows, it is not considered an aftershock because the aftershocks died off completely in less than 2 years," Jones wrote.

The mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, also took to Twitter to reassure residents.

"Our LAFD [Los Angeles Fire Department] has deployed to assess the city for damage," Garcetti said.

"Your LAFD is in Earthquake Mode, with all 106 Neighborhood Fire Stations checking their areas for damage," LA fire chief Ralph Terrazas said.

Seismogram Data After Northridge Earthquake in 1994
Los Angeles, California: Earthquake Aftermath. Cal Tech Seismological Laboratory. Seismogram Data After Northridge Earthquake Measuring 6.8 On Richter. The earthquake felt in San Diego on September 18 was significantly less powerful. David Butow/Corbis/Getty Images