Science

Heightened Earthquake Threatens Southern California

By Luis Fran , Oct 02, 2016 05:04 PM EDT

The Governor´s Office of Emergency alerted residents that a heightened earthquake is threatening Southern California, after several small temblors that occurred deep under the Salton Sea were recorded by the Orange County Register last Saturday.

The latest warning was released after 142 temblors that started last Monday were registered near Bombay Beach. U.S. Geological Survey data revealed the magnitude of those quakes ranged from 1.4 to 4.3, according to Bloomberg

A terrifying situation 

"Little quakes can actually trigger more powerful ones, there is significant stress stored on the southern end," Morgan Page, a USGS geophysicist, was quoted as saying by Bloomberg. He also explained that this natural phenomenon occur every 300 years.

The fact that a heightened earthquake threatens Southern California is something extremely terrifying to its residents, given the damage it has caused in the past. A giant earthquake in 1906, for instance, had destroyed 80 percent of buildings in the San Francisco Bay Area and caused an estimated 3,000 deaths. Add to this the fact that scientists have projected that the chances of an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 or higher happening in the southern San Andreas, "is as high as 1 in 100 and as low as 1 in 3,000." 

Waiting for nothing to happen

In keeping with previous scenarios simulated by scientist, this kind of event could have terrible consequences. According to a 2008 U.S. Geological Survey report published by the Science Daily, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Southern California could result to over $200 billion in damages, and kill more than 1,500 people.

Although it is known that California is an earthquake country, this is just the third time that the phenomenon has been recorded in the area since 1936. The heightened probability will last until Tuesday. 

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a law on Thursday that aims to create a statewide alert system for residents that notifies them of impending earthquakes via radios, smartphones, and other devices, ABC News reported.  

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