More than 400 small earthquakes rattle SoCal, but it’s not a big deal, seismologists say

A map from the US Geological Survey shows a cluster of earthquakes in the Jurupa Valley area of California, from May 27 through June 3.

WASHINGTON — Southern California’s Jurupa Valley has recently been rattled by a “swarm” of small earthquakes.

Since May 25, 432 quakes have hit the area that only spans a few square miles, the US Geological Survey (USGS) reported Monday.

The quakes, as a whole, have measured 0.8 to 3.2 in magnitude and only a few have been significant enough to be felt, USGS seismologist Robert Graves said.

There’s no need to panic, according to seismologists and geophysicists.

Andrew Newman, a geophysicist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, said that while this “swarm” of earthquakes is attention-getting, in his experience these kinds of events usually do not precede a larger, stronger or more widespread earthquake.

Since there are no major faults nearby, Graves said he believes this swarm is likely due to small cracks or a weak area in the Earth’s crust.

“This activity is probably related just to the ongoing tectonic stress that builds up in Southern California and is being relieved on some very small fault structures that do not reach the surface,” he told CNN affiliate KTLA-TV. “It’s highly unlikely that this type of activity we’re seeing today in this area will lead to a larger earthquake.”

There have been a couple of other swarms in the Jurupa Valley area. One took place in February and March of this year, and another in July and August 2018. Neither of those events saw as many quakes as the current swarm, Graves said.

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