California At Risk Of ‘Even Bigger Earthquake’ Following Larger Aftershock (Video)

An even larger earthquake just rocked Southern California, and experts say the fault system is growing.

California could be hit with a series of large earthquakes after another, even more powerful earthquake rocked Southern California on Friday (July 5). The temblor, which struck not far from the town of Ridgecrest in the Mojave Desert, registered as a magnitude 7.1, which is larger than the one that rocked the same general region on Thursday (July 4), according to the U.S. Geological Survey. That quake, a magnitude 6.4, was the largest to strike Southern California in 20 years, and was felt as far as Los Angeles.

“This is an earthquake sequence. It will be ongoing,” USGS seismologist Dr Lucy Jones toldreporters Friday.

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“There is about a one-in-twenty chance that this location will be having an even bigger earthquake within the next few days,” she reportedly added.

Today’s monster quake caused injuries, fires and rockslides, and left more than 3,000 people without power. Shaking was felt as far away San Jose, about 260 miles (418 kilometers) from Ridgecrest, the Los Angeles Times reported.

A state of emergency has been declared in the city as officials deal with damage and injuries sustained in the quake. The natural disaster ruptured gas lines, caused fires, water mains damage and knockouts to power and communications lines.

Since the magnitude-6.4 quake on Thursday, more than 1,000 aftershocks have struck the area, CBS News reported. So Friday’s powerful ground-shaking was not a complete surprise.

In fact, seismologists warned earlier Friday that additional quakes were likely in the next week, and said there was a 9% chance of a quake larger than Thursday’s temblor striking the area, Live Science reported. Seismologists now think that the fault system responsible for the quakes is growing, and residents of Ridgecrest and the nearby desert town of Trona can’t breathe easy just yet. Aftershocks to this quake, which is now considered a “foreshock,” are very likely, experts said.

“There’s a 5% chance that this could be followed by an even larger quake,” USGS seismologist Robert Graves said at a news conference on Friday, as reported by the LA Times.

When an aftershock is bigger than the main quake, the first quake is renamed as a foreshock, Jones explained. “A magnitude seven usually has aftershocks for years,” she warned.

Friday’s earthquake was widely felt across Southern California, including greater Los Angeles, where shaking in some areas lasted about 40 seconds. Low-level rumbling extended as far north as the San Francisco Bay, beyond to Reno in neighboring Nevada, and as far east as Phoenix, Arizona.

Video credit: Guardian News

Photos: Google

 

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