California earthquake: Big One fears and Los Angeles panic after three tremors hit in 2hrs

Residents were awoken by a “loud” bang and “jolt” as a series of tremors hit the state. At 22.34 (06.34 BST) local time last night, a 3.9 magnitude tremor rocked South California. One resident told earthquake monitoring service EMSC: “Scary. Kids crying. A couple good jolts and loud.”

A few hours later, past the stroke of midnight local time, a magnitude three quake hit Northern California – although with a relatively weak tremor and at a depth of 26 kilometres, not many would have felt the shaking.

Just 10 minutes later at 00.19, the Los Angeles area was rocked by a tremor measuring 3.9 on the Richter scale.

One person said: “Shook my house for a good 5 seconds and heard a few noises prior the start of the shake.”

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said shaking could be felt in Compton, Lynwood, Gardena, Willowbrook, Lakewood and northern Long Beach.

Although the monitoring service stated that all three earthquakes were not powerful enough to cause structural damage.

Scientists had warned of aftershocks following the magnitude 4.5 quake which hit California on Monday evening.

The USGS wrote on its website: “It is likely that there will be smaller earthquakes over the next week, with 0 to 4 magnitude 3 or higher aftershocks.

“Magnitude 3 and above are large enough to be felt near the epicentre.

READ MORE: California earthquake: USGS warns bigger than 4.5M tremor could follow

As a result, the State of California has launched a new earthquake alert app which will warn residents of impending tremors.

A statement from the Office of Emergency Services said: “The California Earthquake Early Warning System will marry a new smartphone application with traditional alert and warning delivery methods such as Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA).”

The alarm would not have gone off in this morning’s event, as a quake needs to be at least a 4.5 on the Richter scale for an alert to be issued.

However, even California’s Governor has warned that the ‘Big One’ could be on its way.

Governor of California Gavin Newsom has told the residents of the Golden State to remain vigilant as the Big One could strike at any time.

He said: “Nothing can replace families having a plan for earthquakes and other emergencies.

“And we know the Big One might be around the corner. I encourage every Californian to download this app and ensure your family is earthquake ready.”