Since July 4, there have been two significant earthquakes in California. The latest was a 7.1 that hit the Ridgecrest on Friday night, postponing televised basketball games and giving even longtime residents of the state quite a shock. Since the quakes have occurred, the number of aftershocks has been so high that seismologists have had trouble recording how many and the strength of them. At last count, over 3,000 were recorded. The two large earthquakes that occurred are believed to be a part of a large pattern that could result in an even larger earthquake in the same area at some point in the near future.
Lucy Jones is a seismologist in California and has offered a few details about the earthquakes. She discussed that there was a low chance of a stronger earthquake after the 6.4 magnitude event on July 4, but only about a day later, the 7.1 magnitude occurred. Now, she has stressed that the occurrence of the earthquakes in the area so close together is abnormal and that the larger earthquake was likely a response to the first one that took place. This is why many people are worried that there could be an even larger one as a result of the one that happened Friday evening.
Some of the aftershocks have been recorded at a 5.0 magnitude or higher. There could also be some that are close to a 6.0 magnitude. For now, there’s about a 25% chance of an earthquake stronger than a 6.0 occurring in the coming week, but business owners and residents are still preparing. They are putting safety plans in place and gathering emergency supplies in the event that they will have to deal with a massive quake that could cause significant damage. The last earthquake that many in the area remember occurred in 1999 and was a 7.1 magnitude.