Experts have warned for years that a massive earthquake is due in California.
On the anniversary of the 1989 Loma Prieta quake, many on the West Coast have quakes on their mind and some are even bracing for the worst.
Time spoke to experts who pointed out that Southern California, Los Angeles and San Francisco were the most at-risk areas in the country for the next destructive quake.
The most recent time San Joaquin Valley residents felt the ground shake was in December. The tremors were from a 5.7 earthquake near the Nevada border, northeast of Fresno.
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John Bellini, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey, told SFGate the smaller quakes don’t necessarily mean the “big one” is in the near future.
“It looks like normal activity,” Bellini said. “They’re all over the place. It’s not unusual.”
Increased seismic activity doesn’t typically signal an impending larger seismic event, he said.
“We can’t predict or forecast earthquakes,” Bellini said. “Sometimes before a large earthquake you’ll have a foreshock or two. But we don’t know they’re foreshocks until the big one happens.”
So, it sounds like Californians will have to wait and see, not that that’s any comfort.