San Bernardino City Hall Temporarily Closes Amid ‘Heightened Earthquake Alert’ in State

The San Bernardino City Hall building is closed for the next two days as a precautionary measure due to a a heightened earthquake alert issued by the Governor's Office Office of Emergency Services, the city said Monday.

"Out of an abundance of caution, we have chosen to move the October 3 San Bernardino City Council meeting to October 10, and to operate outside of the City Hall building for the next two days," a news release from the city of San Bernardino stated.

City Hall will be closed to the public until Wednesday, after the earthquake alert expires. Administrative operations will be conducted from other buildings, but services will be limited until the building reopens, according to the release.

The governor's office issued the warning following a swarm of small quakes in the Salton Sea area at the southern end of the San Andreas Fault.

Nearly 200 temblors -- including at least three with a magnitude of more than 4.0 -- struck the area over a 24-hour period at the beginning of last week, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The swarm, which was felt near a stretch of the fault that scientists estimate hasn't ruptured since the late 1600s, prompted concern among some seismologists and state officials, according to the newspaper.

City officials cited the alert, along with the expected number of visitors to the building in the first week of October, as the primary reasons for its temporary closure.

"The State cites odds of a major earthquake by Tuesday at between 1 in 3,000 to 1 in 100. While the odds of a catastrophic earthquake are still very remote, the 'earthquake alert' has caused us to take this action because the City Hall building was constructed under very different seismic structural standards than exist today," the news release read.

On Friday, however, the U.S. Geological Survey said preliminary calculations indicate the chance of an earthquake of magnitude 7 or higher is much less serious that that stated by San Bernardino. USGS put the likelihood in a range of less than 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 500.

The lower likelihood is equal to the average chance of such a temblor hitting the area in any given week, USGS said.

And on Monday, other experts said the elevated earthquake risk had diminished.

San Bernardino officials have been aware of structural concerns to the building for nearly a decade, but they say that it is now at the point where they have measures in place to "remain functional" if one were to occur.

City Hall employees and office operations will be moved out of the building over the next few months, the release stated.

City Hall will resume normal operations on Wednesday.

KTLA's Melissa Pamer contributed to this article.