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Scientists say fair chance of big California quake this week

July 9, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email


Rocked and rattled over the past week by two major earthquakes and many minor ones, Los Angeles is bracing itself again as scientists put the chance of another large quake hitting Southern California this week at about 11%.

The second and larger quake to hit California struck on Friday, with a magnitude of 7.1.

No fatalities or serious injuries have been reported from the California quakes – they were centred in a remote and sparsely populated area of the Mojave Desert, about 240 kilometres northeast of Los Angeles.

Apart from other things, an earthquake can ruin your makeup. Just look at the footage below, posted on Twitter!

Friday’s quake shook buildings, damaged roads and caused much anxiety among Californians still edgy after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake slammed into the same region on Thursday.

For comparison, the earthquake that hit Christchurch, New Zealand, on 22 February 2011 (killing 185 people and injuring several thousand) was magnitude 6.3.

The chance of another big one (magnitude 7 or greater) striking California sometime this week is about 11%, according to preliminary estimates from seismologists quoted by the Los Angeles Times.

The Los Angeles Times quoted California Institute of Technology (Caltech) seismologist Lucy Jones delivering that estimate, and saying the chances that a new quake this week will be bigger than the previous recent ones are roughly 8% to 9%.

California is the prime state of entry, by far, for Australian visitors to the continental USA. It’s hard to say how many are there at any one time, but well over 80,000 Aussies entered the US on short-term visits in the month of March alone.

The 7.1 quake on Friday night was about 8 times larger than the 6.4 quake on Thursday morning, the US Geological Survey said.

Jones said the geological fault that triggered the quake was now likely to be about 40 to 50 kilometres long.

“The fault is growing,” she told the Los Angeles Times.

MEANWHILE, the world’s tallest active geyser – Steamboat in America’s Yellowstone National Park, is experiencing a dramatic surge in the number of eruptions, which shoot jets of scalding water about 10 metres into the air.

Steamboat Geyser has already erupted 25 times this year, according to the US Geological Survey. It’s on track to beat last year’s record of 32 eruptions – the greatest number ever recorded in a year. The record before that was 29 eruptions in 1964.

Michael Poland, the USGS scientist-in-charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, says geyser eruptions are not related to earthquake activity. That’s a popular misconception, he told CNN.

Written by Peter Needham

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