More than 600 earthquakes, including one measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale, have hit the US-Mexico border since Saturday
More than 600 earthquakes shook the California-Mexico border in just three days — including a 5.3 magnitude earthquake that shook homes for hundreds of miles
- The 603 quakes were centered around Calipatria, California
- The largest was an earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale that struck Saturday morning
- All recorded earthquakes recorded a magnitude of at least one
- Four of the quakes were greater than four and 29 were greater than three
- A seismologist said none of the shocks are ‘worrying’ because they are far enough away from the San Andreas Fault
- The area where they occurred is known for seismicity
More than 600 earthquakes have been recorded near the California-Mexico border since Saturday, including one of magnitude 5.3 felt nearly 600 miles away.
The 603 quakes were centered in the small town of Calipatria near the San Andreas Fault, just 55 miles from the border with Mexico.
The earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale struck three miles deep on Saturday at 10:55 a.m., about seven miles west of Calipatria.
Calipatria, California is home to just over 7,300 people, according to the US Census Bureau
The San Andreas Fault, pictured above in a section near Mecca, California, stretches 750 miles along the western edge of the Golden State
According to the US Geological Survey, people as far away as San Francisco and Arizona reported feeling the shock Sacramento Bee.
The USGS considers a 5.3 magnitude earthquake to be “moderate,” while a 6.3 magnitude earthquake is “strong.” Quakes between 2.5 and 5.4 are ‘frequently felt, but cause only minor damage’, says Michigan University of Technology.
All recorded earthquakes recorded a magnitude of at least one, geophysicist Randy Baldwin told CNN.
Four of the quakes were larger than four and 29 were larger than three.
Magnitude refers to the physical size of an earthquake, according to the USGS. Actual shaking will vary depending on ‘distance, type of surface material and other factors’.
The quakes shook the nearby Salton Sea, but the shallows are no cause for concern
‘Today’s swarm isn’t close enough to the San Andreas Fault to raise concern,’ seismologist Lucy Jones tweeted on Saturday.
“We’ve never seen a preshock more than 6 miles from its main shock and this swarm is about 15 miles from the end of the San Andreas Fault.”
The 750-mile San Andreas Fault stretches through most of California’s western edge.
It is the boundary between the North American and Pacific tectonic plates, which slide past each other at a rate of 0.79 to 1.38 inches per year.
The area where the earthquakes occurred, in Imperial County, bordering the Mexican state of Baja California, is known for seismic activity and is not densely populated.
The area last experienced an earthquake swarm in 2005, according to AP.
The earthquakes were “not close enough to the San Andreas fault to raise concern.” Above, a geothermal power plant is tapping underground heat from the fault near Calipatria, California
Jones said there isn’t much going on with the nearby Salton Sea.
‘Salton Sea can take a sip,’ but the shallow depth means not much water will be displaced,” she added on Sunday.
So far, there are no reports of deaths or injuries from the quakes.