Californians were shaken out of their beds early Thursday morning as a 4.2 magnitude earthquake rolled through Los Angeles, followed by a series of aftershocks.
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), at around 4:30 AM, the quake struck a neighborhood in San Fernando Valley, just a little more than a mile north of Pacoima. Aftershocks then shook the area a few minutes after the earthquake which ran up to five miles deep.
Meanwhile, the Southern California Seismic Network stated that there was still a chance that another earthquake which could be larger than the first one would occur. However, they also added that the possibility decreased overtime.
The quake was the largest one that was experienced in the area for more than six years. The last major earthquake that happened was back in March 2014 which was at 4.4 magnitude.
According to the New York Times, during an interview, geophysicist John Bellini from the National Earthquake Information based in Colorado stated that earthquakes of such magnitudes could cause cracks in windows or plaster but depending on the condition of the structure, and also possibly shake items off shelves.
He also added that the earthquake is a common occurrence in California, however, he stated that it does not normally happen in the Los Angeles area, which is home to around 18 million people. He also noted that this could be the reason why it raised interest.
While the possibility of an impending earthquake which is much stronger has been a topic for some people in California, the USGS stated that there is only a 31% probability that Los Angeles will be faced with an earthquake of 7.5 magnitude in the next 30 years.
Moreover, Bellini added that there is no indication that the Thursday quake could lead to a much larger seismic activity. Although, he stated that while it is unlikely, it is still theoretically possible.
On the other hand, Dr. Lucy Jones, a renowned seismologist dubbed the earthquake as of the "garden variety. In a tweet, she posted she said that such quakes are just part of the ordinary life in the Golden State, given that it is homes to several faults. She also noted that several major quakes have happened in the area such as the 1971 Sylmar quake and the 1994 Northridge quake, USA Today reported.
Today’s quake are garden variety California quakes. In an area with lots of faults and both the 1994 Northridge and 1971 Sylmar quakes. The good [ordinary] life of the Golden State — Dr. Lucy Jones (@DrLucyJones) July 30, 2020
Norma Eisenman, a spokesperson from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) stated that there were no reports of damage and injury. The same information was given by the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD). The LAFD immediately engaged in their Earthquake Emergency Mode, deploying its helicopters and fire engines to canvass its 470-square mile area of jurisdiction.
According to researchers, there is an estimated 1% chance of a major earthquake happening along the San Andreas Fault in the next year. However, other researchers contradicted sating that their findings and analysis overstated the possibility of such an earthquake.
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