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6.17.2005

California rockin and rollin



So, four quakes in less than a week has created much discussion over the instability of the Ring of Fire. From the msnbc article -

A 6.6-magnitude temblor hit about 125 miles off the coast of Eureka around 11:30 p.m. PT, rattling the ocean floor. In the afternoon, a 4.9-magnitude quake struck east of Los Angeles, startling people and knocking items off shelves and desks.

Four significant quakes have hit California this week: A magnitude-5.2 quake shook Riverside County on Sunday, and a magnitude-7.2 quake trembled Tuesday under the ocean 90 miles off Northern California.

A patchwork of faults crisscrosses California, and the Southern California Earthquake Center recently estimated that a major earthquake beneath Los Angeles could cause up to 18,000 deaths and $250 billion in damage.

Presgrave said it was unlikely the two Thursday quakes were linked to each other.

Lucy Jones, a USGS expert based in Southern California, told NBC News that quakes around 5.0 tend to happen four times a year in California, while those around 7.0 might occur once a year, or once every few years.

As for the possibility of an even bigger quake in the near future, Jones said, "We have a slightly increased chance around the places we've been having them in the last few days and that's part of life here."


All indications are that these latest rumblings have been quite intense, look at some of the reports...

"All of a sudden I heard a loud rumbling sound, kind of like thunder," said Nick Brandes, 25, manager of a store in Yucaipa. "At the front, all the customers were in a panic. They were all just in a hurry to get out."

Andrea Cabrera, an employee at the Walgreens drug store in Yucaipa, said the store "just had a few items falling, that's all." Customers "were just stunned, and they just stood there," she said.

Channon Kelly, 31, was eating her lunch in downtown Los Angeles when Thursday's quake hit.

"I almost jumped out of my seat," Kelly said. "I'm starting to get freaked out. We've had so many in the last week, the one Sunday and then in Northern California. I could hear the windows rattling and feel it all at the same time."

"I think this is leading up to the Big One
," said Mentone resident Cora Embry, who grabbed her young son and ran from her home when the shaking began Thursday.

"I feel a big earthquake coming. They say there is no such thing as earthquake weather, but there is."

Thursday's first temblor struck about 1:53 p.m., three miles northeast of Yucaipa, 72 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. The quake, which struck roughly eight miles below ground, triggered rock slides in the San Bernardino Mountains and injured at least one Lake Arrowhead woman when it sent a chandelier crashing onto her head.

In areas close to the epicenter, residents described a shock that almost buckled their knees, caused large panes of glass to shiver and sent furniture pounding against the floor.

While seismologists characterized the earthquake as small - it was strong enough to toss items from shelves and crack walls, but not big enough to damage buildings - residents who lived near the epicenter said it seemed larger.

Redlands resident Susan Mosher was home studying for the bar exam when her dogs began barking, and the interior living room wall began cracking.

"We've had a lot of earthquakes - this is the first one that scared me," Mosher said.

Residents throughout the Los Angeles Basin felt a quivering.