On Friday, the state of California experienced its second earthquake in just as many days. Now, many are wondering if there will be another earthquake in California in the coming days. According to scientists, another earthquake is indeed possible, but the chances of another major quake — above 7.0 — is more unlikely. What is likely is another earthquake of 5.0 magnitude.
“It would be extremely unusual if we didn’t have another 5 [in the next week],” Caltech seismologist Lucy Jones told the Los Angeles Times.
The chances of a larger earthquake are much lower but still possible. According to scientists, “the fault causing the quakes appears to be growing,” the Los Angeles Times reports.
So far, no deaths have been reported. There have been a few reports of injuries, but nothing life-threatening. There has been structural damage to homes and buildings and several fires have broken out across the region.
Here’s what you need to know:
There Is an 11 Percent Chance of Another Large Earthquake in California Over the Next Week & Aftershocks Could Last for Years
Another earthquake in California that surpasses the 7.1 quake on July 5 is unlikely. Scientists say that there’s only an eight to nine percent chance of a bigger quake in the area.
“There’s about a 1 in 10 chance that we could have another 7 in this sequence,” Jones told the LA Times. However, the odds of an earthquake in the 6 range are a bit higher — there’s a 50-50 chance, says Jones.
Whether or not California does experience another earthquake in the next week won’t have much of an effect on the aftershocks, which are pretty much guaranteed. And these aftershocks — which can feel just like an actual earthquake — could be causing issues tremors 2019.
“A magnitude 7 usually has aftershocks that last for years,” Jones said.
The First Earthquake on July 4 May Was Just a Foreshock for the July 5 Quake
The first earthquake in California on July 4 is now being referred to as a “foreshock” for the July 5 quake. A foreshock is defined as “a mild tremor preceding the violent shaking movement of an earthquake.” It appears as though the first, “smaller” earthquake was just a tremor — at 6.4 on the Richter Scale — for the main event, which was the July 5 quake, coming in at 7.1.
The epicenter of the July 4 quake was located in the Searles Valley, near Ridgecrest, California, which is about 150 miles north of Los Angeles.
The epicenter of the July 5 quake was in the Mojave Desert, just 11 miles from Ridgecrest. The tremors were felt as far away as Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
Learning that the July 4 earthquake was just a foreshock, some are wondering if the July 5 quake was also a foreshock for a bigger earthquake that has yet to happen. However, statistics suggest that the chances of a larger, more intense quake are extremely unlikely.