07:06 GMT +322 October 2019
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    The Big One? Californians Concerned As Over 400 Quakes Strike in One Week

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    Southern California residents remain vigilant, as in this past week alone, hundreds of earthquakes of varying magnitudes were registered in the area and continue to occur in clusters.

    California's Inland Empire continues to endure large amounts of seismic activity described by experts as "swarms." Though seismologists say the quakes are normal and have not registered above magnitude 4, residents are very likely to feel the tremors.

    Just this weekend, the US Geological Survey registered hundreds of small quakes, with the strongest measuring magnitude 3.3 on Sunday.

    Despite how they measure on the scale, seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones noted on Twitter that the earthquakes feel stronger to humans because the disturbances are shallow.

    "When the quake is only 1 mile down, instead of 5 miles or more, you are that much closer to the event," Jones tweeted, reassuring netizens that "this is the earth [sputtering] along instead of letting go all at once."

    Southern California is notorious for tectonic activity, but many initial concerns related to the fact that the area has yet to see an earthquake above magnitude 6 in almost five years, according to the USGS.

    In turn, seismologists have recently theorized California is overdue for a massive quake. In April, a study published in the journal Seismological Research Letters asserted the state was going through an "earthquake drought," unlike any other in the last 1,000 years of paleoseismic records.

    "We know these big faults have to carry most of the [tectonic] motion in California, and sooner or later they have to slip. The only questions are how they're going to let go and when," lead researcher and seismologist Glenn Biasi noted in a statement two months ago.

    Around the same time, the USGS released a statement predicting "it's likely that we're going to have a lot of earthquakes when they do start happening again."

    Furthermore, USGS Seismologist Robert Graves announced during a Monday briefing at Caltech that while the "big one" could still happen at any time, the possibility of the current series of quakes leading to a major tremor is "highly unlikely"

    "This activity is probably related just to the ongoing tectonic stress that builds up in Southern California and is being relieved on some very small fault structures that do not reach the surface," the USGS official said, explaining the reported shallowness of the quakes. 

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    Tags:
    tectonic shift, seismologists, seismic activity, natural disaster, tremors, quake, earthquake, US Geological Survey (USGS), California, United States
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