TRENDING NOW - Is The Big One Coming?

TRENDING NOW - Is The Big One Coming?

California's governor declared a state of emergency after Sunday's earthquake hit and was the strongest in the region in 25 years. Dozens of aftershocks followed the 6.0 magnitude earthquake. In fact, they could continue for weeks and that has many people asking -- could this earthquake be a lead up to "the big one?"
Earthquakes in California are a part of life, especially along the San Andreas fault. The U.S. Geological survey says along that fault, catastrophic earthquakes hit about every 150 years or so and the last time was 1857 -- 157 years ago.

Take a look at some video that shows the damage in napa, about six miles from where the earthquake was centered.

So was this quake a sign of what's ahead? Not necessarily. The quake itself wasn't on the san andreas fault line and experts say there's probably no connection. One clue is what's happened in two days since the earth shook.

David Oppenheimer, Seismologist; United States Geological Survey says, "We know that when we study earthquakes that about five to ten-percent of all main shocks are preceded by foreshocks. So as time progresses, the likelihood goes down. Immediately after the earthquake, there was a 54-percent probability that this was a foreshock. I think the numbers will fall further because this is not a very robust aftershock. So it's possible, but probably unlikely."

But if it feels as if you've heard more about major earthquakes recently, it may be because there have been more.

Researchers in one published paper found in the first three months of this year, the rate of earthquakes with a magnitude higher than 7.0 was more than double the average since 1979.

Though that's considered a short time frame when studying earthquakes, so experts caution not to read too much into the numbers just yet.

And though California is often top of mind with earthquakes in the U.S., in June, Oklahoma surpassed California in the number of quakes this year. Experts say it could be because of fracking in the state.

Oppenheimer continues, "We know that when we study earthquakes that about five to ten-percent of all main shocks are preceded by foreshocks. So as time progresses, the likelihood goes down. Immediately after the earthquake, there was a 54-percent probability that this was a foreshock. I think the numbers will fall further because this is not a very robust aftershock. So it's possible, but probably unlikely.
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