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Sunday, June 12, 2016

Hundreds of Aftershocks

By Douglas V. Gibbs,
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

The early morning earthquake I wrote about a couple days ago has had hundreds of aftershocks.  The original quake woke me up, and registered a magnitude 5.2 - which is not a small quake, but it's not quite the big one we've been fearing here in Southern California, either.

Aftershocks are common after an earthquake, but more than 200 aftershocks is pretty amazing.  Few of them have been larger than 3.0, and the fact that Borrego Springs due east of Temecula in San Diego County  is sparsely populated, the aftershocks have been little more than an interesting detail.

The 5.2 magnitude, however, is a larger rumble than we've seen for a while.  The good news is that it may have relieved pressure underground.  The bad news is it may trigger larger quakes with its rumbling.

The last quake near the size of the Borrego Springs tremor down here was in 2014, when a 5.1 magnitude quake hit La Habra.

The San Jacinto fault, which runs right through my neck of the woods, and the culprit near this last quake, is the one that has a number of scientists nervous.  Nonetheless, the quakes tend to be smaller along that fault as a result of less compression between its plates.

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