RIDGECREST, Calif. — Seismologists say the shaking in southern California may not be ending anytime soon after having major back-to-back quakes.
Seismologists warn that large aftershocks are expected to continue for days or longer, following Thursday and Friday's earthquakes in the Ridgecrest area.
"We are really likely to see a six-size event in the next few days on the next week, we're expecting large earthquakes on all the faults in Southern California," said Dr. Egill Hauksson of the CalTech Seismological Laboratory.
The USGS reports there have been nearly 1,500 earthquakes and aftershocks in 24 hours with over 500 having a magnitude of at least 2.5.
“For a while, Ridgecrest was known as the Earthquake capital of the world because they used to have so many small earthquakes,” Hauksson said.
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Hauksson says there is a three percent chance for another seven or greater quake to hit and a 27 percent chance for a magnitude 6. The chance of a magnitude 5 or higher is 96 percent, with as many as eight likely to occur.
"With these earthquakes, we are lucky, that the energy in them is mostly going to the north away from Los Angeles," said Hauksson, who does not believe the earthquakes were caused by fracking in Kern County.
Although Ridgecrest in Kern County is more than three and half hours away from San Diego, the impact of its quakes can still leave a mark.
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"Earthquakes at this distance can cause some damage in very isolated cases, especially if the ground is very soft and saturated with water,” Hauksson said.
USGS geologist Nicholas Van Der Elst says the Ridgecrest area’s activity is “going to be higher for the foreseeable future, for years, these aftershocks are going to be trickling along.”
Seismologist Doug Given of USGS for 40 years states these quakes are a reminder that Californians live in earthquake country.
"Could be that this kind of earthquake that we just experienced it happens every thousand years or so and we just got lucky, that it wasn't more impactful in the populated areas,” Given said