Swarm of small earthquakes hits Southern California’s Imperial Valley


Dozens of small earthquakes ranging from 2.5 to 4.9 magnitude happened around 4 p.m. Wednesday near the city of Westmorland, southeast of the Salton Sea. Westmorland is in Imperial Valley, near the California-Mexico border.

At least 45 quakes occurred in the area within 2 1/2 hours, seismologist Lucy Jones said in a tweet. Wednesday’s swarm is “one of the largest swarms we have had in the Imperial Valley — and it is historically the most active swarms in SoCal,” Jones said.

Swarms near Imperial County are normal, but this was one of the largest the region has seen, according to Jones. The faults near the Imperial Valley, which is historically the most active for swarms in Southern California, are small and have no impact on San Diego, Los Angeles or San Francisco.

“In other words, there is no scientific reason to predict a big quake in another location today,” she said.

None of the quakes happened anywhere near the San Andreas fault but instead in the Brawley Seismic Zone, a common source of swarms, she explained.

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