Earthquake Risk Increases in Southern California After 7.1 Shaker
In less than two days, California experienced two of the largest earthquakes in its state boarders since 1999.
On the fourth of a July, a 6.4 magnitude temblor stuck Ridgecrest, CA, with shaking felt all the way in Las Vegas and in the Bay area.
The next day, a 7.1 earthquake rattled the same region which caused serious damage to buildings and roads throughout the area.
Because of the large magnitudes of these quakes, seismologists want Californians to prepare for even more seismic activity.
Caltech seismologist Lucy jones estimates that the chances another large quake (one that will surpass Friday’s 7.1 shaker) is about 8% to 9%, with the likelihood that Southern California will experience another 7 magnitude or greater temblor in the next few weeks at 11%.
“There’s about a 1 in 10 chance that we could have another 7 in this sequence,” she said. “It would be extremely unusual if we didn’t have another 5 over the coming week,” Jones added.
The likelihood for additional large earthquakes increases after a significant shaker because earthquakes trigger other earthquakes, which makes them more likely — especially with larger quakes that range in the 6 or 7 magnitude. The larger the earthquake, the larger the aftershock.
In fact, seismologists believe that any time there is an earthquake there is a 5% chance that the temblor will be followed up with something larger.
“It is clearly a very energetic sequence, so there’s no reason to think we can’t have more large earthquakes,” Jones explained.
The good news, seismologists estimate that the seismic activity in Ridgecrest is not likely to trigger any activity on the San Andreas fault since, at its closest distance, that fault line is about 100 miles from the epicenter of these recent quakes.
As seismologists predicted earlier this year, California is heading into a period of increased seismic activity after experiencing an “earthquake drought” over the last decade.
As a result, it’s extremely important to start preparing for the inevitable “Big One” now. Prepare your earthquake kits with enough food and water to last everyone in your household (pets included) for at least three days. Secure or mount any large furniture items like TVs and bookshelves, and have your property examined for seismic safety.
If you own an older home or building in California, chances are the property is lacking modern seismic reinforcements. Earthquake retrofitting will protect your property from damage and/or destruction during a large earthquake and ensure the safety of those who reside there.
Julian De La Torre is an expert in Los Angeles foundation inspection, foundation contractors, earthquake retrofitting, and foundation repair. Julian’s company, Julian Construction, has inspected over 15,000 structures, working with engineering firms and local departments of building & safety. The company has done more foundation repair and earthquake retrofitting in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years.