New Research Shows Large Earthquakes Preceded by Smaller Ones

Posted August 22, 2019, under Blog

According to new research, seismologists have found that the majority of larger earthquakes are preceded by clusters of smaller quakes.

“One of the biggest questions in earthquake seismology is how earthquakes get started,” the study’s lead author, Daniel Trugman, seismologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory said about the new findings.

“We’re finding that most, if not all, of [significant] earthquakes are preceded by foreshocks that we can detect with a new computing technique,” he added.

Earthquake data in the past has shown that just half of all medium to large earthquakes were preceded by several smaller ones, but this latest study suggests  that – especially in Southern California – 72% of quakes ranging in a 4 magnitude or higher between 2008 and 2017 had smaller quakes that preceded them.

As we saw in July, the 7.1 temblor outside of Ridgecrest, CA was preceded by a 6.4 magnitude foreshock. With hundreds of quakes happening in between those two seismic events.

As seismologists predicted earlier this year, California’s earthquake drought has finally come to an end. Meaning, we’re heading into a decade of increased seismic activity.

As we prepare for more frequent seismic activity … and that inevitable “Big One,” it’s important that if you live in Southern California that you take all safety precautions to protect your loved ones and your home in the event of a major earthquake.

The most effective way to protect your home, and all who reside there, is to have your home foundation or soft story apartment building retrofitted for earthquake safety.

Most older homes in Southern California are lacking the modern reinforcements necessary to protect their property from damage and/or destruction if a large quake were to occur.

Earthquake retrofitting is essential for protecting your property from severe earthquake damage, as the updated reinforcements will help keep your home secured to its foundation in the midst of the intense side-to-side and back-and-forth shaking that occurs during a large earthquake.

In addition to getting your home foundation or soft story structure seismically retrofitted, you should prepare an earthquake emergency kit with enough food, water, first aid and medications to last each member and pet in your household for at least three days.

Julian De La Torre is an expert in Los Angeles foundation inspection, foundation contractors, earthquake retrofitting, and foundation repair. Julian’s company, Julian Construction, has inspected over 15,000 structures, working with engineering firms and local departments of building & safety. The company has done more foundation repair and earthquake retrofitting in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years.

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