LOS ANGELES -- A moderate earthquake rattled dishes and bolted Southern Cailfornians out of bed today.
The magnitude 4.4 earthquake had initially been rated at 4.7, but was downgraded about 20 minutes after the jolt, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
No damage was immediately reported from the quake that struck at 6:25 a.m. PT. The quake's epicenter was about 6 miles north-northwest from Westwood, an enclave in West Los Angeles,, the survey said. That actually would put it closer Encino in the San Fernando Valley.
It was the largest earthquake to strike near Los Angeles in years. Next to Los Angeles International Airport, the quake lasted several seconds, shaking furniture and causing ripples in swimming pools just as many Southern Californians were awaking.
Los Angeles Police sent out a tweet asking residents not to call 911 to report the earthquake. "We are well aware of it. Lines need to be kept open for emergencies," the message said. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the region's massive bus and rail system, said that operations were coming back to normal after some quick checks to look for damage just as the morning commute was starting.