Earthquake of 5.5 magnitude hits Mojave Desert, seismologists expect more aftershocks


James St. John (Flickr)

Mojave Desert, California magnitude 6.4 earthquake (10:33 AM, 4 July 2019)

Ivana Venema-Nunez, Reporter

On Wednesday at 6:32 p.m., an earthquake of 5.5 magnitude hit Ridgecrest, a city about 120 miles northeast of Los Angeles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Los Angeles Times wrote.

A level 5 on the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale is capable of breaking dishes and windows but does not usually cause major damage.

Seismologist Lucy Jones tweeted that the earthquake was a large late aftershock from Ridgecrest earthquakes on July 4 and 5 from last year.

“These are common,” Jones tweeted.

Cal Tech seismologist Zachary Ross said on Twitter that Wednesday’s quake was the largest aftershock of last summer’s earthquakes as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

The fourth of July earthquake was a magnitude 6.4 which was considered a foreshock to a 7.1 magnitude earthquake on July 5.

“Why is this considered a Ridgecrest aftershock after almost a year? Because the rate of events per day is still way above the rate before the sequence started” Ross tweeted.

Susan Hough, USGS seismologist, posted on Twitter that there is a 1-20 chance a more powerful earthquake will strike in the next three days.

In the last ten days, there have been five earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater nearby, according to the LA Times.

An average of five earthquakes with magnitude of 5.0 and 6.0 happen per year in California and nearby region like Nevada according to a recent three-year data sample the LAT wrote.