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West Ventura County Focus

VENTURA : Small Quake Shakes Coastal Region

October 08, 1994|GREG RIPPEE

A small earthquake deep under Emma Wood State Beach shook the coastal area overnight, authorities said Friday.

The 2.8 magnitude quake, which struck at 11:58 p.m. Thursday, was centered about two miles northwest of Ventura and about four miles beneath the sand and surf, seismologist Egill Hauksson of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena said.

There were no reports of damage or injuries.

The quake was unrelated to the thousands of aftershocks of the Jan. 17 Northridge earthquake and was a routine release of the local tension that builds whenever the oceanic and continental crustal plates bind along the San Andreas Fault, Hauksson said.

While the Pacific Plate creeps about two inches a year in a northwesterly direction, the Continental Plate correspondingly moves to the southeast, creating friction, he said.

He said the San Andreas Fault, where the two meet, borders much of northern Ventura County, making the area seismically active.

Since 1984, nine earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or less have shaken the same area off Ventura, Hauksson said.

He said it was unknown whether it was related to the two large faults near Ventura--the Red Mountain Fault north of the city or the Oak Ridge Fault beneath Oxnard.

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