Earthquake damage building in Napa Valley

Southern California Earthquake Swarm Not Alarming to Scientists

A swarm of more than 1,000 small earthquakes has been rattling San Bernardino and Riverside counties for the past month.

While the cluster of quakes may elicit some fear, experts do not believe tremors under the city of Fontana will turn into a larger quake. The swarm is not particularly close to the two more dangerous Southern California faults, the San Andreas and San Jacinto.

On average California has small earthquakes, of magnitude 3, every other day, according to U.S. Geological Survey data.

Unlike what’s been occurring 40 miles east of Los Angeles, some small quakes — especially ones near major fault lines — bring more danger.

“I would redefine normal as: You should still be prepared for a large earthquake,” USGS research geophysicist Andrea Llenos told the LA Times. “We do know a big earthquake is going to happen.”

California is in an earthquake drought, according to seismologists.

The last tremor of magnitude 6 or stronger happened in Napa almost five years ago.

In the last 25 years, there have been 11 quakes statewide 6.0 or greater, while there were 32 over the previous generation, according to USGS records.

Scientists continue to warn Californians of seismic danger as memories of the last destructive quake fade.

In any home in a seismically hazardous area, experts recommend removing heavy objects around beds, anchoring bulky furnishings to walls such as bookcases and dressers, and installing safety latches on cabinet doors. All DIY projects homeowners can tackle.

Homeowners should also appropriately secure their water heaters to reduce the chance of uncontrolled water release and a house fire.

Homes built before 1979, should be evaluated by a structural engineer to determine if they need to be braced and bolted to the foundation.

Read more about the Fontana earthquake swarm at