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USGS: 1-In-300 Chance Strong Earthquake Could Follow Salton Sea Swarm Of Earthquakes Within 7 Days

SALTON SEA (CBSLA) — The desert near the Salton Sea continue to tremble as a swarm of small earthquakes that started Wednesday continued into Thursday.

(credit: USGS)

The swarm slowed down Thursday, but at least four earthquakes of magnitude 3 or larger were recorded in the first seven hours of the day, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The swarm is taking place in the Brawley seismic zone.

The area has seen swarms in the past in which they remain active for as many as 20 days, but the average duration is about a week, the USGS said. The current swarm is happening 25 miles to the south of the swarm that happened near Bombay Beach in August.

The USGS says there is a remote chance, about 1 in 300, that an earthquake of magnitude 7 or higher could follow the swarm within the next seven days. There is a 10% chance that the swarm could be followed by a larger earthquake, up to magnitude 6.9, according to the USGS.

But the most likely scenario is that the rate of earthquakes will decrease over the next seven days. But even with a 90% chance of this scenario, the swarm could include more moderately sized earthquakes between 4.5 and 5.4 magnitude, the USGS said.

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