INYO COUNTY, Calif. – The largest aftershock in more than two years shook parts of Southern California on Thursday that experts say is associated with a magnitude 7.1 earthquake that rocked the region in 2019.
The newest quake was identified as a magnitude 4.6 and was centered northeast of Ridgecrest.
Initial reports indicate the shaking was not widely felt and was much weaker than the major quake that impacted the region three years ago.
During the magnitude 7.1 quake, more than 100 homes and businesses were damaged, and the terrain shifted upwards of 14 feet.
Several roadways buckled, and utility lines snapped during the violent shaking, but there were no reported fatalities.
Since the July 2019 quake, the area has experienced more 3 dozen aftershocks that were a magnitude 4.5 or larger.
The United States Geological Survey said it is common for aftershocks to go on for years until the fault can find a state of equilibrium.
Seismologists said they can’t rule out a larger event, but the likelihood of a future quake being greater than a magnitude 7.1 is low.
There are estimated to be more than 15,000 faults in the Golden State, with around 500 that are active.
According to the California Earthquake Authority, most of the state’s 39 million residents live within 30 miles of a fault line.
FOX Weather Reports - The Next Big One: Pacific Northwest Peril
Be sure to watch FOX Weather at 9 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 16th and Sunday, July 17th, for The Next Big One: Pacific Northwest Peril. The Seattle Fault has been dormant for nearly 1,100 years…but it won’t stay that way forever. How the next earthquake could be the largest natural disaster ever in the United States.