California has been recently shaken by relatively small earthquakes, but there is concern that the tremors may be something similar to the birth pangs of women, in that they start out weak and infrequent and grow in number and intensity.
In the early evening of May 14, the San Francisco Bay area was roiled by what was originally reported as a 3.8 magnitude quake with an epicenter 2 miles east of Oakland. Seismologists later downgraded the quake to 3.5.
The tremor rumbled residents about at 7:18 pm (PST), with most people in the area saying it seemed relatively light or weak. There were no injuries or reports of damage, writes the San Francisco Gate
An earthquake with preliminary magnitude of 3.8 rattled the San Francisco Bay Area Monday night. The quake was later downgraded to a 3.5.
The rolling quake was centered about 2 miles east of Oakland, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). It struck at 7:18 p.m. There were no reports of damage or injuries.
Over the weekend a cluster of small quakes in the 3 magnitude range rattled nerves in Imperial, San Diego and Riverside counties, reports the Los Angeles Times.
“Dozens of quakes were reported in and around Ocotillo Wells in Imperial County, six of them larger than a magnitude 3, according to the U.S. Geological Survey,” writes the Times.
According to seismologist Lucy Jones, the quakes are registering along the San Jacinto fault system, an active seismic region that often unleashes small quakes but is noted for producing some monsters as well.
In 1979, a magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck El Centro, injuring 91 and causing significant damage to homes and businesses. In 1987, the fault triggered the 6.6 magnitude Superstition Hills quake. Most recently, a magnitude 5.4 temblor hit Brawley in 2012.
Swarms do come and go, but there is always the potential for a big one to make itself felt. And this is what worries local residents when they feel a minor quake ripple the ground below them.
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