Monday, August 27, 2012

California Earthquake Swarm


There was a swarm of over 100 earthquakes in the past 24 hours in Southern California, some of them as high as magnitude 5.4, which is pretty strong. Tonight there was also a strong earthquake off the coast of El Salvador with a tsunami warning, but it's probably unrelated.

This is one of the largest swarms in the state since the 1970s. And overnight they are still rocking in the town of Brawley, California east of San Diego.

USGS Real Time Earthquake Map
USGS Recent Earthquake List for the World

Story from
The earthquakes began about 10 a.m. with a 3.8 magnitude temblor three miles northwest of Brawley, according to the USGS.

In the next 40 minutes, 11 additional quakes struck with a magnitude from 2.0 to 2.9.

The quakes picked up in intensity after noon, when a series of earthquakes were registered ranging from a magnitude of 2.0 to 5.4.

Residents in the desert communities near the California border to Mexico and Arizona reported feeling the quake, as well as residents as far as Monterey Park, Fullerton, Costa Mesa and San Diego.

A handful of buildings in downtown Brawley had minor damage after an earthquake swarm rattled the area Sunday, officials said. No injuries were reported.

Brawley is located about 16 miles from El Centro and 92 miles from Tijuana. In the last 10 days, there have been six earthquakes magnitude 3.0 and greater centered nearby.

These folks sure are strangely calm - I would have been out the door and down the road after the first one! *eep*

From the San Jose Mercury News
The city of Brawley activated an Emergency Operations Center and many of its 25,000 residents were on edge into early evening, City Councilman Sam Couchman said.

"Residents were a little jumpy all day,"Couchman said."It's over 100 degrees, but many left their residences and stayed outside seeking any shade they could."

. . . Sunday's series of more than 200 earthquakes, which scientists refer to as a swarm, all emanated from a small stretch of fault line about three to four kilometers long near Brawley, about 16 miles north of El Centro, according to Lucy Jones a United States Geological Survey seismologist.

"It's characteristic of the seismology of the Imperial Valley," she said.

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