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34,000 Aftershocks Expected Over Next 6 Months After Powerful Quakes Near Ridgecrest: Scientists

Aftershocks from the recent earthquakes near Ridgecrest are decreasing in both frequency and magnitude, and seismologists say they expect the pattern to continue.

The earthquakes on July 4 and 5 — one a magnitude 6.4 and the other a 7.1 — were the strongest to hit the area in 20 years. Thousands of aftershocks have already been reported, and scientists have said they expect thousands more — about 34,000 over the next six months.

But since an initial cluster of magnitude 5 and above quakes that struck in the hours following the 7.1 temblor, the aftershocks have been subsiding in intensity and striking less often, an analysis of seismological data shows.

The U.S. Geological Survey said Tuesday the aftershocks will continue to taper off in the coming days and weeks, and the probability of another large quake — a magnitude 4 or higher — also will decrease.

(Credit: Los Angeles Times)

(Credit: Los Angeles Times)

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