OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - Residents throughout California are on edge after two massive earthquakes— a magnitude 6.4 and 7.1, rocked Southern California less than two days apart and triggered a series of aftershocks.
People are worried if the recent quakes could trigger the "Big One," on the San Andreas Fault line— the boundary between the North American and Pacific tectonic plates.
But Lucy Jones, a seismologist at the California Institute of Technology and a former science adviser at the U.S. Geological Survey, said it's unlikely the back-to-back quakes could affect fault lines outside of the area, noting that the gigantic San Andreas Fault is far away.
The earthquakes that struck near Ridgecrest Friday and Saturday took place on two separate fault lines that don't connect to the San Andres fault, The Sacramento Bee reported.
However, experts say the 800-mile fault which passes through much of California including the San Francisco Bay Area, is overdue for a major earthquake along with the 70-mile Hayward Fault that runs through heavily populated cities like Oakland and Berkeley.
USGS researchers say the Hayward Fault is a "tectonic time bomb," due anytime for another big quake.
According to USGS, there's a 72 percent chance a 6.7 magnitude earthquake will strike the San Francisco Bay Area in the next 30 years.
San Francisco Bay area:
Within the next 30 years the probability is:
- 72% that an earthquake measuring magnitude 6.7
- 51% that an earthquake measuring magnitude 7
- 20% that an earthquake measuring magnitude 7.5