Southern California

Experts Predict Aftershocks to Hit High Desert

Experts predict aftershocks to continue to shake the high desert after Thursday morning's 6.4 temblor, including some large magnitude quakes.

"We should be expecting lots of aftershock and some will be bigger than three," said seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones. "It is certain this area will shake a lot today. Some will exceed magnitude five."

Aftershocks ranging up to a 4.6 magnitude were reported in just the first few hours after the Fourth of July quake.

The quake was in the same area that was struck by a magnitude-5.4 quake in 1995. That Aug. 17 earthquake, centered north of Ridgecrest, was followed by more than 2,500 aftershocks during the following five weeks.

On Sept. 20 that same year, a second large earthquake struck the region. At magnitude-5.8, it was likely on the same fault system as the earlier quake. More than 1,900 aftershocks followed the September earthquake.

In October 1999, one of the largest earthquakes recorded in Southern California was centered in the region. The magnitude-7.1 Hector Mine quake produced shaking throughout SoCal and in parts of Arizona to Nevada from its epicenter in the Mojave Desert. It was in such a remote location that it was named after an open quarry pit and caused little damage, aside from a surface rupture in the Twentynine Palms Marine Base.

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