Seismologist Says California Earthquakes Don't Imply Big Quake
Los Angeles, California (CNN) California officials are assessing the damage from not one, but two, earthquakes, and more than one hundred aftershocks that rocked the Los Angeles area this past weekend.
A 5.1 magnitude quake struck Friday, followed the next day by a 4.1 tremor.
A seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey told CNN the quakes should be a wakeup call that a period of recent calm could be coming to an end.
But, she says, it is not an indication that the so-called "big one" - a huge quake - is coming.
"It doesn't imply a big earthquake in the future. When you're not having earthquakes, you're not having earthquakes. But, it's also something we can't have as a long-term. We've actually seen this happen before. The rate goes up and down, and it's been so quiet that can't be the long-term - at some point we have to turn back up. Now we've had these two big earthquakes - that's definitely more than we've had for quite a while. Maybe we've returned to a higher level. We'll know after another year or so and see what other things happen," explains U.S. Geological Survey Seismologist Lucy Jones.
Southern California has experienced relatively minor tremors since 1994, when a magnitude 6.7 quake killed dozens and caused 42 billion dollars in damage.
These latest two quakes come on the heels of a magnitude 4.4 tremor that hit near downtown Los Angeles a week ago.