LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A swarm of earthquakes that rattled the Salton Sea area earlier this week has increased the probability of a major quake hitting Southern California.

The California Office of Emergency Services (OES) issued an earthquake advisory warning residents and officials in Ventura, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, Los Angeles, Kern and Imperial counties that there was a greater possibility of a major earthquake through Oct. 4.

More than 140 seismic events have been recorded near Bombay Beach beginning Monday ranging from magnitude 1.4 to 4.3, according to U.S. Geological Services (USGS) seismologists.

A USGS graphic illustrating a swarm of earthquakes in the Brawley seismic zone as of Monday evening. (courtesy USGS)

A graphic illustrating a swarm of earthquakes in the Brawley seismic zone as of Monday evening. (courtesy USGS)

“California is earthquake country. We must always be prepared and not let our guard down,” said OES Director Mark Ghilarducci. “The threat of an earthquake on the San Andreas Fault hasn’t gone away, so this is another important opportunity for us to revisit our emergency plans and learn what steps you need to take if a significant earthquake hits.”

The swarm occurred in a region known as the Brawley seismic zone, which is located near a fault network that connects the southernmost end of the San Andreas fault with the Imperial fault.

Scientists say some of the cross-faults are positioned to potentially add stress to the San Andreas fault and the San Jacinto fault system when they rupture.

According to the USGS, preliminary data indicated a roughly one percent chance of a magnitude 7 or greater earthquake being triggered on the Southern San Andreas fault within the next seven days “with the likelihood decreasing over time.”

But in a tweet posted on Friday, seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones said the swarm “is over & increased risk mostly gone”.

The most recent quake in the swarm above magnitude 2.4 was a magnitude 3.2 temblor that struck around 11 a.m. Thursday.

Comments (46)
  1. This might be a good excuse to take a vacation.
    Far away.

    George Vreeland Hill

  2. Alie Hunter says:

    Maybe it’s a sign of the end of the world… which would totally be OK with me

  3. mike says:

    what is the normal percent chance ?

  4. Mike Hills says:

    Mike has a good point of what is normal for that area? This a Change usually we find out when our hanging lamp begins to swing and the car alarm goes off.

  5. Kathy Slenker says:

    Probably should heed this.

  6. theotherhanddude says:

    Silly bird! Just as likely the probability decreased. Small quakes could just be relieving built up tension in the region, or maybe its pointing to a bigger quake elsewhere, 4 years from now. Oh, so much we don’t really know. But lets talk about it like we know anything at all.

  7. not going to happen … as I have already lived through this and if they trigger another one while not making the proper preparations *u know making sure EVERYONE has trash cans of food, water, supplies etc. then that would be like really bad especially being last time they made sure it happened when no one out and about but since our time is off if it happened again one it would hit probably at primetime traffic hour or on a weekend when everyone is out and about freeways and malls and stadiums packed, no one is prepared period nor has any real idea of what being prepared really means … all because someone decided it was a good idea to go back in time and rewrite history not knowing it would take us back to before the Northridge e-QUAKE and Clinton as President. Trust me the Northridge earthquake was real , I was awake for the entire thing and it was the scariest minute or 2 of my life thats real time so here that would make it well over 5 minutes or longer. STUPID #earthquake oh and they would see us as prepared if they r looking at past events just a FYI we were then , we r not now.

  8. Sherri says:

    Revised probability: there is 0.006% to 0.2% chance (less than 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 500) of a magnitude 7 or greater earthquake being triggered on the Southern San Andreas Fault within the next seven days through October 7, with the likelihood decreasing over time.

  9. There is no question of there being another earthquake. There most certainly will be. Because we are supposed to have a major Quake every 100-150 years. and it being from the San Andreas popping off. We are overdue. Way overdue. So as the Seismologist from the Movie “San Andrea” would say. It isn’t a question of where… It’s a matter of When.

  10. There was that volcano that erupted in Colima Mexico. I wonder if that has something to do with the increased activity.

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