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California earthquake expert talks 5.8 magnitude earthquake

Posted at 7:55 AM, Jun 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-25 10:55:49-04

BAKERSFIELD, CA. — After every earthquake there is a 5% chance of something bigger following it, according to California seismologist, Dr. Lucy Jones.

“Now you know you’ve had a 5.8 and you can now say 'well maybe that's it,' but for the next week you have a slightly increased risk," said Dr. Lucy Jones.

Wednesday morning a 5.8 magnitude earthquake shook the Central Valley followed by 4.6, 3.6, and 3.1 aftershocks, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

“We've already had half a dozen magnitude 3 aftershocks since this earthquake happened and even if the numbers are going down we are continuing to have them so were continuing to get bigger aftershocks and one of them could grow into a big one," said Dr. Lucy Jones.

Just two days ago, a 4.6 magnitude earthquake happened. Dr. Lucy Jones is calling this a foreshock to Wednesday’s quake.

“If tomorrow we had a 6.0, we would call that a 'main shock' and the 5.8 a 'foreshock'. And these look the same it’s just a main shock that happened to have a big aftershock."

Residents from Fresno to Bakersfield say they received notifications from the new earthquake alert system.

“What this system is doing is telling you that an earthquake has begun. The waves travel 2 miles per second, so if you’re 30 miles away from the earthquake, it’ll take 15 seconds to get to you and 5 to 10 seconds for the system to send you the message."

The temblors come just about a week and a half away from the anniversary of the 7.1 and 6.4 magnitude earthquakes that shook Ridgecrest last summer.

"This is a different fault than the Ridgecrest earthquake and it is far enough away it doesn't fall within the definition of aftershocks. We look at it as its own earthquake."