California residents nerves rattled by earthquake swarm in Inland Empire

Wednesday, May 2, 2012
By Paul Martin
May 2, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA – An ongoing swarm of small earthquakes is rattling homes and nerves in the Inland Empire. Over the weekend, there were a handful of new quakes near Devore, Idyllwild and Indio. The Devore quake on Saturday morning measured 3.8. The recent earthquakes have been near the San Andreas Fault, that ominous crack in the Earth that threatens SoCal with the “Big One.” The current swarm may seem like a lot of quakes, but that’s not necessarily the case. UC Riverside professor and earthquake expert Gareth Funning crunched the numbers for April 2012 compared to the same time last year. “There were 200 more events of all earthquake sizes a year ago than there were this year,” Funning said. The last major rupture of the San Andreas Fault happened about 330 years ago — near Fort Tejon, north of Los Angeles. Seismologists say we’re overdue for another one. “It’s a one in two chance in the next 30 years that this earthquake will happen,” Funning said. But pressure on the San Andreas Fault will not, as rumor has it, cause California to fall into the ocean, Funning said. “It’s causing the mountains to rise and causing California to rise out of the sea,” Funning said. As for the all recent quakes in the Inland Empire, he calls them purely random. –NBC LA

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