The local TV networks went into quake mode tonight — but not immediately. KCBS, KNBC and KABC continued with their regular 9 PM programming after a magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck the Southland at 9:09 PM. KCAL 9 did go live with news within about 15 minutes, and one of its co-anchors was Kent Shockneck — who famously doing a live newscast on KNBC when the 5.9 1987 Whittier Narrows quake struck and promptly got under his newsdesk. (Relive video of that incident below). Interestingly, tonight’s temblor occurred on same thrust fault that caused the ’87 quake, according to preliminary data. For their part, the three network O&Os went to their news teams by 10 PM — pre-empting The Insider on CBS, Hannibal on NBC and 20/20 on ABC. Fox 11 went with its regular 10 PM newscast.
This was the second small-to-moderate earthquake to strike the Greater Los Angeles area in less than two weeks. Disneyland shut down its rides after the main quake, which was followed by a series of more than a half-dozen aftershocks ranging in magnitude from 2.6 to 3.6. This is standard protocol for the Anaheim theme park, which is less than 10 miles from La Habra, the epicenter of the main temblor. Disneyland typically cycles through its attraction after a quake hits then inspects them after parkgoers have disembarked. The rides indeed were shut down for a while but most were operational or coming back online by 10:10 PM. The park is open until midnight tonight. It’s been an active day at the Happiest Place on Earth. Four workers were taken to a hospital this afternoon after being sickened by what turned out to be paint fumes.