This August is shaping up to be a pretty shaky month, thanks to several large earthquakes across the globe. These earthquakes have spurred reports that California is more likely to experience a catastrophic earthquake, colloquially known as “the big one,” very soon. But experts say that’s not how earthquakes work.
In the past three weeks, there have been eight earthquakes that were magnitude 6.5 or greater. That’s 40 percent of the major quakes that have happened so far this year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Yesterday morning (Aug. 22), a magnitude-6.2 earthquake occurred about 170 miles (273 kilometers) off the coast of Oregon, along the Blanco Fractal Zone (separate from the San Andreas Fault in California), USGS reported.
But don’t worry — the occurence of these earthquakes doesn’t suggest that there’s a higher chance now, compared with any other time, that California will experience a major earthquake.