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'The Most Active Swarms In SoCal': 45 Earthquakes Over M3.0 Rattle Salton Sea Area In 2.5 Hours

SALTON SEA (CBSLA) — A swarm of earthquakes rattled the Salton Sea area Wednesday afternoon.

Salton Sea
(credit: USGS)

The biggest earthquake of Wednesday's swarm measured at a 4.9 and struck just after 5 p.m. in Westmoreland.

According to seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones, in just under three hours, the swarm had 45 quakes over 3.0.

"One of the largest swarms we have had in the Imperial Valley - and it is historically the most active swarms in SoCal," she said.

Jones reassured that Westmoreland is located over 15 miles south of the end of the San Andreas.

"None of the earthquakes that have been happening in the Imperial Valley are anywhere near the San Andreas fault," Jones said. "They are in the Brawley Seismic Zone - a network of small faults that connect the San Andreas and Imperial faults. Historically largest Brawley event was M5.8."

Jones said the quakes are near the 1981 Westmoreland earthquake which measured at a 5.8. "That sequence had 10 quakes M≥3.5," she said.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quakes were felt in parts of Imperial and Riverside counties.

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