Minor quakes no sign that San Diego's safe

September 12, 2007

Seismologists say the small earthquakes that have hit Southern California in the past 10 days have no effect on the chance of a major quake.

"If you had asked me two weeks ago, I would have said a 6.0 earthquake could hit today, or it might hit in 100 years," Patrick Abbott of San Diego State University told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "My answer today would be the same."

Five quakes occurred offshore and two around Lake Elsinore, 70 miles north. All were between magnitude 3.0 and 5.0 on the Richter scale, making them minor or light.

San Diego survived a quake estimated at 6.0 magnitude in 1862 and a 5.3 offshore quake in 1986.

But Graham Kent, a seismologist at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, said there are four faults that could produce a major 7.0 quake. They are Rose Canyon, which cuts through the city, Coronado Banks offshore, and the San Jacinto and San Andreas to the east.

Seismologists say that the southern part of the San Andreas, probably the world's most famous fault line, has been quiet for 300 years and is overdue for a major quake.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Fault system off San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles counties could produce magnitude 7.3 quake

Related Stories

Quake-detection app captured nearly 400 temblors worldwide

December 14, 2016

The University of California, Berkeley's worldwide network of smartphone earthquake detectors has recorded nearly 400 earthquakes since the MyShake app was made available for download in February, with one of the most active ...

After Haiti, Worries About Other Big Quakes

January 18, 2010

In the last several days, while the attention of the world has been focused on the human toll of Tuesday's earthquake in Haiti, scientists have begun to look at the quake's geological toll. What is the danger to populations ...

Recommended for you

How the Elwha dam removals changed the river's mouth

January 19, 2018

For decades, resource managers agreed that removing the two dams on the Elwha River would be a big win for the watershed as a whole and, in particular, for its anadromous trout and salmon. The dams sat on the river for more ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.