Forget blackouts and terrorism

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It's like the famous counter-intuitive (for some people) stat that your chances of being being killed in a car crash are much higher than in a plane -- you stay in Los Angeles long enough and you will be in a major quake, but you probably will never experience terrorism. The flurry of little tremors felt in recent days were aftershocks of the 1994 Northridge quake, the scientists agree in the Times and Daily News -- but after that we're on our own.

"It's been a long time since the Northridge Quake, so the aftershock sequence is pretty much over," Schuckel said. "We don't know if that beast is going to twitch anymore."

That beast was a "mild" 6.7 earthquake that struck at 4:30 in the morning and instantly woke up 15 million people. It killed 57 and injured 10,000, and only that few because most people were home and not in collapsed class rooms, shopping malls and parking garages or on freeways. Power, water and phones were out for days in some areas. Precisely one year later, a quake of the same level killed 5,000 in Japan.

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