Dozens of aftershocks are hitting Southern California after it was rocked by a 6.4 earthquake today and authorities warn even more intense temblors could be coming.
The U.S. Geological Survey forecast a 9% chance of an equally large or bigger quake in the same area in the next week. And there’s a 59% chance of a magnitude 5 quake, which is big enough to cause damage.
A 4.0-magnitude temblor preceded the big shake today but data from the USGS shows a swarm of aftershocks rattling the same region after the earthquake.
The USGS has already recorded 49 aftershocks of magnitude 3 or higher, which means they are strong enough to feel.
And Caltech seismologist Lucy Jones said “This does not make [the Big One] less likely.”
Dr. Jones said there has already been a high number of aftershocks following the quake. “I think we have already had probably an excess of 20 3.5 [magnitude aftershocks],” Jones said in a news conference.
She also said several minutes before the news conference, she had logged a 4.1 magnitude aftershock. “We will be continuing to have lots of aftershocks,” she said.
She added that “there is a 1 in 20 chance that this location could have an even bigger quake in the next few days.”
The rolling 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit an area of Southern California between Los Angeles and Las Vegas and is the most powerful tremor to shake the region in two decades.
The impact from the temblor would have been far worse if it had been closer to Los Angeles since an earthquake that strong occurring near a city would cause major destruction and probably a lot of casualties.
Dr. Jones told reporters that the fault that ruptured was separate from the San Andreas fault, the largest and most threatening of faults in California.
Geological research along the southern portion of the San Andreas suggests the fault is due for a major rupture.
The last big earthquake on the southern San Andreas was 162 years ago. Katherine M. Scharer, a geologist with the U.S.G.S., said the average interval between the previous nine earthquakes in that area was 135 years.
The mayor of Ridgecrest, Peggy Breeden, whose town was damaged near the epicenter of today’s big quake, said there has now been 87 aftershocks, and said she wanted to keep a declaration of emergency in place because “we don’t know what’s going to happen.”
The Biblical prophecies (Matthew 24, Luke 21) foretell that earthquakes will be a sign of the Last Days indicating the coming end of the age.
These are signs of the Last Days revealing its time to prepare for the nearing appearance of Jesus Christ by being born again spiritually into the Kingdom of God as Jesus said we must (John 3) and His Apostles (Matthew 16:19) who were authorized described how (Acts 2). Which brings peace and joy in the Holy Spirit in this life and eternal life in the world to come.
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