But the West Coast, California in particular, is most at-risk, with populous areas straddling massive geologic fault lines. In a news conference this morning, USGS seismologist Robert Graves said there was a 5% chance that this morning's LA quake was a foreshock to a larger event.
"Earthquakes are not random events. Earthquakes are clustered in time and space," John Dvorack, a former USGS scientist told Northern California public television station KQED in an interview Friday.
In fact, Dvorack says that with each temblor comes the greater likelihood of another. During any 72 hour period, the odds of a magnitude 7 or greater quake in California are about 1 in 100,000, he said. However, when a magnitude 7 earthquake occurs, the odds of another quake of the same or greater strength occurring within the next three days increases to nearly 1 in 10.
--Written by Hal M. Bundrick for MainStreet