An earthquake centered several miles off the Isla Vista coastline shook residents awake throughout Isla Vista and Goleta early Sunday morning, but caused no reported injuries or damage.
The quake, which registered a magnitude of 4.4 on the Richter scale, occurred at 1:57 a.m. The U.S. Geological Survey determined its epicenter was 18 miles west of Santa Barbara, about two and a half miles beneath the ocean floor of the Santa Barbara Channel.
Richard Abrams, spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Fire Dept., said there were no earthquake-related incidents that required a response from firefighters, but all fire trucks were moved outside of their stations as a precaution.
Immediately following the shaking, police said callers inundated the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Dept.’s 911 dispatch center and the Isla Vista Foot Patrol substation.
Stephanie Hanna, chief of communications for the western region of the USGS, said there was nothing unusual about the earthquake’s location and magnitude.
“[The quake] occurred in a seismically active part of California,” Hanna said. “It’s happened before – most recently in the 1970s – and it will happen again.”
According to the Southern California Earthquake Data Center, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck the UCSB campus and Goleta areas in 1978.
That quake, also centered off the coast, caused over $3 million in damage to university buildings and resulted in 65 injuries countywide, according to a website maintained by the UCSB Institute for Crustal Studies. In addition, 40,000 books were knocked from the shelves of the Davidson Library.
A staff member at the library’s information desk Sunday said he was unaware of any books being knocked over in the quake.