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Heightened earthquake alert issued for Southern California

SANTA ANA, Calif. >> Southern California residents should remain on heightened alert until Tuesday for the increased possibility of a major earthquake, officials said.

The warning by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services follows a series of small temblors deep under the Salton Sea, which is located on the 800-mile-long San Andreas fault, the Orange County Register reported Saturday.

Such warnings are typically issued once or twice a year, said Kelly Huston, the deputy director of crisis communications for the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

The latest alert was issued after 142 temblors hit starting Monday near Bombay Beach at the southern end of the fault. Those quakes ranged from a magnitude of 1.4 to 4.3, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

Scientists estimate the probability of a quake with a magnitude of 7.0 or higher on the southern San Andreas fault being triggered is as high as 1 in 100 and as low as 1 in 3,000. The average chance for such an earthquake striking on any given week is 1 in 6,000. That heightened probability will last through Tuesday.

Earthquakes along the San Andreas typically occur every 300 years, said Morgan Page, a geophysicist with the USGS. Earthquake Science Center, but the southernmost end of the fault hasn’t ruptured since 1690.

“There is significant stress stored on the southern end,” Page said.

Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed legislation to develop a statewide warning system to inform Californians of impending earthquakes through their cellphones, radios and other devices.

“California is earthquake country,” said Mark Ghilarducci, the director of the state’s Office of Emergency Services. “We must always be prepared and not let our guard down.”

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    • I hope so too. Not just for the California residents but for the nation and for us Hawaii residents as we would be affected highly by such an event in terms of supplies and possible Tsunami disaster.

      • no tsunami disaster here, delivered phone books a little over 20 years ago went to the tsunami warning center in Ewa Beach, ask them would we get hit by a tsunami if the San Andreas fault gave way, according to the geologist that works there if the San Andreas fault had a major earthquake, the way the bottom of the ocean floor is no tsunami would come this way if the san Andreas fault collapsed. so no worry here.

  • Moved to California in October of 1971 after lving in Indiana for 13 and Illinois 4 years. Then tried Texas for 3 and returned. Have experienced many ground shaking events while living in the State so if the “big” one hits, at 91 it will be no mystery to me?

  • 81 quakes of 0.2 to 2.2 so far in the area just for today, zulu time. that’s 81 of 170 worldwide, just today, so far.

    as 64hoo posted though, very little chance of water displacement tsunami by rising/falling ocean floor or california falling into the sea.

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