Swarms of small earthquakes in California
Warning of larger quake to come?
- Duration 3:57
- Date Aug 9, 2012
Warning of larger quake to come?
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-- well -- -- shaking in Southern California at least thirty quake striking since Tuesday night just yesterday for midsize quakes hit.
They were centered near and around Orange County the strong -- -- magnitude four point five you definitely can feel that and it was felt across a wide swath of that region gaining.
-- -- first at one market.
Quite a scare.
-- -- -- verdict for the day and death.
All of a sudden it just -- and we heard that these stars coming up -- shelves and after we walked through -- all the broken glass and they're -- they're playing in it out but it's kinda scary.
And that's an act that jars off the the shelves there that -- make you nervous.
Recent studies have suggested that a swarm of smaller -- sometimes comes before a big quake.
And many people in Southern California remember the Northridge quake back in 1994 with six point seven.
Much much bigger than these earthquakes that it was responsible for the deaths of 57 people.
Damage was estimated at twenty million dollars -- talk to doctor Johnny blaze -- -- largest but the western observatory at the department of earth and environmental sciences.
At boxing ties nice to see you again I doctors nice to have you with us and I would be sort of have been described is not completely.
Out of the ordinary but they're raising a few eyebrows what do you make of.
Well swarms of earthquakes like we've had in Southern California.
Do you cap then.
So in that sense they're not particularly in usual force what -- precise knowledge is is could something bigger happen.
Most of the time a big earthquake doesn't happen but maybe every one.
Two times out of a hundred a big earthquake that strike.
Now I also was reading about patterns and sometimes -- swarms can create patterns or that's one thing that similar like you would take a look at can you tell us a little bit more about that.
Well what we do as we look at where the earthquakes -- -- we look at the orientation of the fault that they occur on.
Compare that to the local geology we're looking to see if an area looks like.
It might be sympathetic for having further -- movement maybe tomorrow maybe not -- next week maybe not for five or ten or twenty years.
But those are the patterns that size -- just look for an -- We didn't say that the times and is quite long mayor anywhere from a few days it's when he years everyone's asking that question about the big one I know you're not that you and I talked about it on the air a couple times and we've had these earthquakes about.
Whether or not the big one is coming when you see this in California.
Do you see it as a sign that you know California is due for another big earthquake.
These could indicate then another earthquake might be coming.
In this particular case these earthquakes are occurring apparently on the Whittier fault and so -- at -- had some earthquakes in 2008.
And so we we study the -- of these earthquakes and we say okay is there something that looks like it's consistent that might be building up for the future.
There's no indication but on the other hand we're continuing to study.
We're definitely -- to watch -- -- -- -- that's -- one last question the early warning systems that have been put in place in California.
At apparently they have worked here with a few of the earthquakes in -- and they weren't huge earthquakes and -- -- -- early warning system is triggered and there is about a 92.
-- that doesn't sound like a lot in but you know it counts we you know -- -- think about the assistance and is that.
Is this says signed -- -- that's that's giving us and more resource that we didn't have -- some of those previous big earthquakes.
To a size mileage is this is a perfect test of an early warning system.
Not a strong earthquake not damaging but we we see that the system worked we see the the kind of warning it can give.
And it helps us educate people about what early warning systems can do so I think it's very exciting.
I'll take nine seconds he can get -- getting the door why.
-- an infected big earthquakes and San Francisco doctor even my kitty back what -- thank you so much.