VALLEY VILLAGE (CBSLA) — Since the magnitude 4.5 earthquake that shook Angelenos out of bed on Friday night, several smaller quakes have hit this week — including a magnitude 3.2 near Rancho Cucamonga and a 3.3 near Lake Elsinore.
“[There’s] a bit of anxiety around when is the next one going to happen,” said Valley Village resident Rachel Aune. Aune said she’s still rattled after the series of quakes.
“We’ve been in California for the past 10 years, and we haven’t felt any like we have in the past year,” she said. “So that is concerning.”
Seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones said that this series of quakes is normal for Southern California, and the area averages about 10 magnitude 4 or above earthquakes every year. Magnitude 3 earthquakes occur, on average, every week.
“The earthquake is inevitable but the disaster is not,” Jones said. “When you put it in Los Angeles, in the basin, this one was in the San Gabriel Valley, many more people feel it.”
The active seismic week has left many on edge, wondering what might be ahead. Dr. Jones said that a cluster of small quakes does not necessarily mean the area is free from a big one.
“You can never get enough small ones to replace the big one…since that ratio is constant,” she said. “You need a big one to keep the ratio constant, and it’s the most consistent thing we record about earthquakes all over the world is this ratio of large to small. Places that have small earthquakes have lots of big ones.”
Glenn Pomeroy — the CEO of the California Earthquake Authority, a nonprofit earthquake insurance company — said these tremors are always a good reminder for people to have an earthquake plan, especially as people are spending more time at home due to the pandemic.
“Whenever there is an earthquake, our website traffic increases,” he said. “Our policy sales skyrocketed after the Ridgecrest earthquake. There is more that we can do. Most people don’t have earthquake insurance. they have to know it’s not covered in their homeowners policy and federal assistance will be limited, and they ought to give it some thought whether its through us or someone else.”
This is earthquake country, after all, Dr. Jones said. And the best way to combat fear is to be prepared.
“You shouldn’t be more scared of having an earthquake now because we had that 4.5 last week, but you shouldn’t be less scared,” she said. “Remember that the earthquakes are part of Southern California, and they don’t have to be a disaster. You can prevent most of the damage… but you need to educate yourself.”
The state’s largest earthquake preparedness drill, The Great Shakeout, is on Oct. 5. This normally happens in schools and offices across the state, but due to COVID-19 many will be participating from home.