Another in the periodic earthquake swarms that visit California's lowest-lying populated area has been bothering the Brawley area all day. With two more over 4.0 in the past hour, there have now been 11 quakes of magnitude 4 or more on Sunday and dozens of lesser strength. The two biggest measured 5.5 and 5.3, enough to cause scattered damage. Some 20 mobile homes were shifted on their foundations. Many public schools in the Brawley area will be closed Monday. Residents are being asked to conserve water.
Late Sunday night, Imperial County health authorities posted an advisory saying there's a good chance the swarm will continue.
The CA Geological Survey, US Geological Survey, Cal Tech and the Southern CA Earthquake Center have reviewed todays activity and are advising the following: The City of Brawley and Imperial County are being advised that an increased likelihood exists for continued seismic activity for at least the next 24 hours. This activity could involve earthquakes as large as, or somewhat larger than, the Aug 26th magnitude 5.5 earthquake and could cause damage--particularly to older structures.
On the map, blue circles are for quakes in the last day, red in the past hour. The larger the circle, the bigger the earthquake. "This is a classic Brawley Seismic Zone swarm," USGS seismologist Lucy Jones said. The Brawley area sits between the bottom end of California's mega San Andreas Fault and the Imperial Fault, between the Salton Sea and the Mexican border.
Photo: Imperial Valley Press