Scientists are estimating that California has an 11 percent chance of experiencing another earthquake in the coming weeks.
Lucy Jones, a seismologist at the California Institute of Technology, said it would be “extremely unusual if we didn’t have another 5” in the near future, referring to the recent quakes that were magnitude 5.
“A magnitude 7 usually has aftershocks that last for years,” she told reporters. “In California, we expect to have a magnitude 7 once every 10 to 20 years, and the last one was 20 years ago. Think of this as a return to what California is supposed to be doing.”
Residents in Ridgecrest, California are now in the process of recovering from the recent earthquakes and their aftershocks.
Mark Ghilarducci, director of the California Office of Emergency Services, said, “There are significant reports of structure fires, mostly as a result of gas leaks or gas line breaks throughout the city.”
The Los Angeles Police Department issued a tweet Friday reminding residents to be prepared for emergencies in the event of another earthquake.
“We know that 7.1 earthquake in Ridgecrest was a scary one! The LAPD & our city partners are here to help keep you safe — but we need you to be prepared. Take the time right now to make sure you have all the essentials to be prepared for the next one,” the police department wrote.
Reports state that Californians should not be worried about the “Big One” feared to happen on the San Andreas fault.
“It’s not likely,” wrote Rong-Gong Lin II and Karen Kaplan on Saturday. “The San Andreas fault is roughly 100 miles away at its closest point — much too far away for there to be a high chance of these recent quakes to cause the southern San Andreas to unleash a supersized earthquake.”
The authors also said that smaller quakes are much more likely, but scientists would not be surprised if a magnitude 6 quake happened in the near future.
“The aftershock sequence from the magnitude 6.7 Northridge earthquake took years before the trembling calmed down,” they concluded.