California Rocked by Second Earthquake in Less Than a Week

by Alex Falls

The Bay Area in California is reeling after not one, but two earthquakes rippled through the region in less than a week. On Tuesday, Santa Rosa, California felt a 4.4 magnitude earthquake shock the area. A 4.3 aftershock hit one minute later at 6:30 PM according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

This quake and the equally forceful aftershock came just one day after a relatively small 2.6 magnitude earthquake hit Canoga Park, California. A city approximately 430 miles southeast of Santa Rosa. Earthquakes under a 2 on the Richter scale usually can’t be felt by people. An earthquake is considered small when it falls between 3 and 3.9.

According to the USGS, earthquakes usually don’t become destructive until they reach a magnitude of 4 or 5. The 4.4 quake in Santa Rosa obviously falls well within that damaging range.

A Close Call for Many Californians in a Busy Week For Earthquakes

Newsweek reported there was little damage to the properties around the area outside of some fallen objects and cracked walls. However, a “significant amount” of people reported feeling the shockwaves. The Santa Rosa Fire Department revealed no injuries were reported. But they did respond to a number of calls involving gas leaks and stuck elevators.

Seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones tweeted on Tuesday that every earthquake has a small chance of being followed by a larger earthquake within the next three days. According to her, the conditions in California invite optimum conditions for repeated quakes.

“Every quake has a 5% chance of being followed by a larger quake within the next 3 days. But most are only a little bit larger,” the tweet said. “When it is right on a big fault, capable of a big quake, the chance that that following earthquake will be big is a little higher, but still small.”

The Santa Rose earthquake on Wednesday happened along the Rodgers Creek fault line. Dr. Jones also addressed fears that a tsunami could follow the 4.4-magnitude earthquake in California. She tweeted that tsunamis shouldn’t be expected at an earthquake of that magnitude. She added that tsunamis also don’t usually occur when an earthquake happens on land.