Cluster of SoCal earthquakes causes worry, experts say not to panic

FONTANA, CA —  Residents of the Inland Empire in Southern California are coping from rattled nerves and shocking jolts lately, from over 600 quakes in just a few days.

The undersea swarm began with two magnitude 4.3 earth quakes, a few hours apart early Wednesday.

The Glen Avon earthquake swarm in Riverside County began on May 25, with the largest—a magnitude 3.2 in Fontana on Sunday.

Seismologist Jen Andrews of Caltech says the swarm of quakes is normal in a quake-prone area, but the number of quakes recently is high.

Still, she said this shouldn’t cause panic.

“So far we’ve recorded something over 650 earthquakes in the swarm… we don’t see this as precursory activity to the big one — this is more a local release of stress than any indication that something big is building upon adjacent faults.”

Fontana Filipino resident Cindy Santos felt the strongest of the quakes earlier in the week. Her home sits just a few miles from the epicenter of the swarm.

As a mom, she says protecting her family is her priority-especially during calamities. Earthquake insurance is in her consideration—but it’s not an easy decision to make.

“It’s the cost. And I know its not mandatory so we’re not really required to get it. But with the FEMA assistance, I’m sure it won’t be sufficient if we didn’t get one.”

But because of high home prices and the continuous expanse of the suburban sprawl, people are living closer and closer to the most feared of all fault lines—the San Andreas.”

“People are living next to major fault lines and of course that does increase the hazards… the southern section of the San Andreas Fault is the longest, that’s why we talk about it as overdue. There’s over a 90 percent chance we’ll experience a magnitude 6.7 or greater in the next 30 years.”

The U.S. geological survey offers these steps to prepare for an earthquake:

Step 1: Secure your space by identifying hazards and securing moveable items.

Step 2: Plan to be safe by creating a disaster and communications plan

Step 3: Organize disaster supplies in convenient locations.

Step 4: Minimize financial hardship by organizing important documents, strengthening your property, and getting insurance.

Experts are also reminding us that when an earthquake hits—you should drop, cover and hold on. They also encourage everyone to participate in earthquakes drills at work, school, and even practice it in your own homes.

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