- Earthquakes in Southern California on Thursday and Friday have already destroyed property, started fires, and terrified residents, and the United States Geological Survey predicts there could be more to come.
- There is currently a 96 per cent chance that up to eight earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.0 or higher could shake the area around Ridgecrest, California in the coming week.
- Hundreds of aftershocks have already been recorded, with hundreds more to come, but while they are almost guaranteed to be felt, experts predict damage will likely be minimal.
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An earthquake with a 7.1 magnitude hit Southern California on Friday, one day after a 6.4 magnitude shook the state on July 4. Now, officials and experts warn residents that there are likely more to come – although the incoming aftershocks probably won’t be as damaging.
The United States Geological Survey is predicting a 96 per cent chance of up to eight earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.0 or higher in the coming week. These earthquakes can be large enough to cause slight damage to buildings and other structures.
The USGS also predicts upward of a 99 per cent chance that earthquakes and aftershocks of at least a 3.0 magnitude will occur, with more estimated “in the case that the sequence is re-invigorated by a larger aftershock.”
Earthquakes have already caused widespread damage, with property destruction, rock slides, and fires terrorizing communities in and around Ridgewood, California. Earthquake expert Lucy Jones told CNN these seismic disruptions are part of an “ongoing sequence.”
The probability of another earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 or higher has decreased from 6 per cent to 3 per cent, CalTech seismologist Egill Hauksson told CNN. Reports of theft after Friday’s earthquake, along with fire damage, have emerged, but there are still no recorded casualties.
During a news conference held Saturday, Ridgewood officials gave updates on damage caused by the earthquakes.
“It’s hard for the world to know what we’ve been through because by the grace of God, we’ve had no causalities, and we’ve only had minor injuries,” Ridgecrest Police Chief Jed McLaughlin said, adding that structures in and around Ridgecrest have sustained major damages but remained upright.
“We did last night have some bad people come into this community and try to take things away from some of our business owners,” Ridgecrest Mayor Peggy Breeden said.
The USGS didn’t immediately respond to INSIDER’s request for comment.
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