NASA Gives 99-Percent Probability Of 5.0 Earthquake In LA

PASADENA (CBSLA.com) — If scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena are correct, a moderately-sized earthquake is expected within the next two-and-a-half years.

JPL experts predict a possible 5.0 magnitude quake in Los Angeles, but say it very well could be stronger. JPL geophysicist Dr. Andrea Donnellan, along with seven other scientists, has been using radar and GPS to measure Southern California’s chances for a sizable earthquake, and has made a sobering hypothesis about another big one.

“When the La Habra earthquake happened, it was relieving some of that stress, and it actually shook some of the upper sediments in the LA basin and moved those a little bit more,” Dr. Donellan said.

However, according to Dr. Donnellan, those strains remain, with enough power to produce an even larger quake in the same epicenter in La Habra.

“There’s enough energy stored to produce about a magnitude 6.1 to 6.3 earthquake,” Dr. Donnellan described.

Dr. Donnellan and her team then proceeded to measure the probability of a similar quake for the entire 60-mile radius of the Los Angeles area. The results produced a shocking 99-percent chance of a magnitude 5.0 or greater in Los Angeles within three years.

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