PASADENA, Calif. - A seismologist with Caltech said “large earthquakes” are expected to happen eventually on all of the faults in Southern California as he provided an update on the 7.1-magnitude temblor that shook the region Friday.
On Saturday, seismologist Egill Hauksson conducted a press conference providing new details on the earthquake activity in Ridgecrest, the epicenter of Friday’s 7.1-magnitude earthquake as well as a 6.4-magnitude temblor that struck on the Fourth of July.
“We’re expecting large earthquakes on all the faults in Southern California,” he said. “In particular, (the Ridgecrest) area is quite active and has been since we’ve had good records, since the 1930s.”
He added that Ridgecrest was once known as the “earthquake capital of the world” because it had many small quakes along the fault.
Hauksson went on to say that the U.S. Geological Survey calculated probabilities for earthquakes of a magnitude 6 and 7 following Friday’s quake.
The probability for a magnitude 7 was only 3 percent, while the likelihood of a magnitude 6 was 27 percent. The region is likely to see maybe one or two quakes of that size “in the next week,” Hauksson said.
Since the 7.1 earthquake, Hauksson said Caltech and USGS seismologists expect 30,000 quakes of a magnitude 1 or greater to strike the region.
The powerful earthquake hit at 8:16 p.m. Friday about 11 miles north, northeast of Ridgecrest. It rattled homes, sloshed water out of pools, toppled grocery store items and caused power outages.
People from all over Southern California flocked to social media to share videos and photos of the terrifying moments the earthquake hit.
Dr. Lucy Jones, another seismologist at Caltech, said the 7.1-magnitude quake was the “main event” and that Thursday’s 6.4 was a foreshock, an earthquake that precedes a much larger one.
Friday’s earthquake is the largest one to hit the Southland since 1999, when an earthquake of the same magnitude struck the Hector Mines area of the Mojave Desert.