SACRAMENTO — A 6.4 magnitude earthquake left destruction in parts of Southern California exactly one week ago. The following day, it was followed by a 7.1 magnitude quake, the largest seen in Southern California in at least 20 years.
“What’s surprising is that we were quiet for so long,” said Dr. Lucy Jones in a video call with FOX40.
Dr. Jones is a well-known seismologist and author who has studied earthquakes for decades.
She said the latest earthquakes began with a foreshock followed by a mainshock, which she said is true for about half of the big quakes seen in California and Nevada.
“Of course, some of our famous ones, like Northridge, had no foreshocks,” Jones told FOX40. “But we’ve had magnitude 6 foreshocks before. In 1987, there was a 6.2 followed by a 6.6.”
Last week’s earthquakes were reportedly felt from as far south as Mexico to parts of Northern California.
Many people across the state are now wondering when the “Big One” will strike.
“I am certain that the chance of a very big earthquake on the San Andreas Fault is 100%,” Jones said.
Dr. Jones said it may be hard to predict the exact location where an earthquake will hit.
“What we can predict is the rate,” Jones said. “So, we can say on average Southern California has an earthquake above magnitude 6 once every three to five years.”
However, she said people living in areas near fault lines should take the necessary precautions to stay safe.
“I’d say store more water than you already have because lack of water is going to be a very huge problem,” Dr. Jones said.
Dr. Jones said people living near the latest earthquake can expect to feel aftershocks for a very long time.
“In the last week, we’ve recorded about 10,000 earthquakes,” Dr. Jones said.