The Channel Islands were shaken last night by a pair of small earthquakes, registering at 3.4 and 3.5 on the Richter scale.

The tremors struck around 2:30 a.m. near San Miguel and Santa Rosa Islands, offshore of Point Conception. Although Santa Barbara is 50 miles from the epicenter, the effects were not significant enough to be felt onshore.

Generally, California expects one 5.5 magnitude earthquake and at least 100 earthquakes measuring 3.5 magnitude per year.

According to Chair of the Department of Earth Sciences Ralph Archuleta, such an event is not surprising considering that a fault line cuts through Santa Cruz Island.

“If you look at Southern California, you see an earthquake of this magnitude very often,” Archuleta said.

“They’re not capable of causing damage. This is just the type of earthquake that just keeps data coming.”

Additionally, Archuleta said the small quakes did not have the potential to disrupt local activity.

“It would be amazing if you felt this,” Archuleta said. “You’re probably looking at something not much more than 200 meters. So it’s tiny, about two football fields.”

—Staff Report