UPDATE: A 3.4-magnitude earthquake occurred in Beverly Hills at 12:03 a.m. Friday, with the epicenter just south of Wilshire Boulevard near Reeves Drive, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. That's about one-half mile from Monday's earthquake (more info below). No damage was reported, according to City News Service.
As Metro continues engineering and design work for the Westside Subway Extension, we’ve had a few inquiries from readers about the location of the 3.2-magnitude earthquake that was felt in Beverly Hills early Monday morning. Their question: did the quake occur on one of the fault systems near the future rail line?
The short answer: it’s hard to say for certain at this time. The epicenter of the quake was just east of downtown Beverly Hills, near the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Oakhurst Drive, according to the U.S. Geological Survey's Google Earth map (you need Google Earth to view this).
Dr. James Dolan, a Professor of Earth Science at USC and a consultant with the subway project, said that this was “such a small earthquake that it need not have occurred on any major fault.” There are many small faults throughout Southern California, some of which periodically produce little earthquakes, he said.
For more information about building a subway in earthquake country, please see this FAQ (pdf) with answers about geotechnical studies for the project and safety measures that Metro will be taking. In addition, here’s a recent post on The Source about how a subway is designed to withstand an earthquake.