The quake was centered in Carson, south of downtown, but was felt across Los Angeles County — as far northeast as Victorville and as far south as the U.S.-Mexico border, according to the U.S. Geological Survey’s “Did You Feel It” site.
The airport said in a statement that operations crews were checking the airport and airfield after the quake but no damage had been discovered.
The earthquake had a depth of about 9 miles and followed two other smaller quakes within the last week-and-a-half that were 3.0 or higher.
Los Angeles usually has around five quakes of 4.0 to 5.0 each year.
“This size happens on average somewhere in Southern California every couple of months,” seismologist Lucy Stone told KCBS-TV, according to the Los Angeles Times. “When it happens to be in the middle of the Los Angeles basin then a lot more people feel it and it becomes bigger news.”
While some people on social media had reported a fire or an explosion at a refinery in Carson along with photos of flames shooting up, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department in Carson said on Twitter a “controlled flaring event” is happening at the plant to burn off excess gases and no structural damage has been reported from the quake.
The flaring was conducted after the plant lost power, a spokesman for the Marathon Petroleum refinery told the Times.
“Whatever is going on is a normal procedure,” a supervisor told the newspaper.
No damage has been reported in the county.