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Magnitude 5.3 Earthquake Rocks SoCal; No Significant Damage Reported

CHANNEL ISLANDS (CBSLA) --  A magnitude 5.3 earthquake was felt throughout many parts of Southern California Thursday afternoon.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) initially reported the quake was a magnitude 5.0, but it was later upgraded to magnitude 5.3. The quake was the most widely felt in the L.A. area since 2014 when a magnitude 4.4 earthquake struck Encino.

According to the USGS, the quake happened at around 12:29 p.m. and was reported near Channel Islands, just off the coast of Southern California.

The epicenter of the quake was approximately 28 miles southwest of Santa Cruz Island and about 11 miles deep in the ocean.

"The offshore faults that produced today's M5.3 quake are part of the system that moves Southern California around a bend of the San Andreas fault," said seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones on Twitter following the quake.

Caltech seismologist Dr. Jennifer Andrews says aftershocks can be expected and "there is the potential for some triggered seismicity."

The Los Angeles Fire Department went into "earthquake mode" following the quake, meaning units will conduct surveys of their areas of the city to check things such as power lines, dams and transportation infrastructure.

Tsunami warnings were not issued for coastal areas and no major damage or injuries was reported, according to authorities.

During a press conference, Dr. Andrews said the off-shore earthquake is the strongest to hit the area since March 28, 2014, just over four years ago, when La Habra was rocked by a magnitude 5.1 shaker.

People living in areas such as Tarzana, San Dimas, Long Beach, Pomona and Torrance reported shaking, with a number of residents taking to Twitter when the quake happened.

USGS seismologist Susan Hough said Caltech's seismology lab in Pasadena received a roughly 10-second warning of the quake through the still-under-development early warning system.

Emergency response agencies say California residents should use Thursday's shaker as a reminder to formulate an earthquake plan as well as the importance of having an earthquake kit ready and available.

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