Earthquake Alert: Could Los Angeles, U.S. Be in for a Major One Soon?

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | June 4, 2014 1:49 PM EST

A firefighter walks through the
A firefighter walks through the "War of the Worlds" movie set at Universal Studios after a mobilization exercise to prepare for earthquakes and other disasters in Los Angeles, California May 21, 2014. FEMA and the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services were testing the Urban Search & Rescue System by deploying multiple teams. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES - Tags: DISASTER SOCIETY)

The number of seismic activity or earthquakes above magnitude 4.0 have breached the records in Los Angeles, U.S., baffling scientists. Could the area be in for a major one soon similar to the 1994 6.7 magnitude Northridge earthquake that killed 57 and injured more than 8,700?

Scientists have been tracking the seismic activity in Los Angeles and observed that the most populous city in the U.S. state of California and the second-most populous in the U.S. has so far experienced five earthquakes higher than magnitude 4.0 in the past five months alone.

Scientists aren't quick on the draw yet to sound off the warning bells, yet they also will not disclose the recent previous temblors could really point to something major.

"Probably this will be it, and there won't be any more 4s. But the chance we will have a bigger earthquake this year is more than if we hadn't had this cluster," Lucy Jones, U.S. Geological Survey seismologist, told Los Angeles Times, noting they are still trying to figure out if the quakes are connected to each other.

"Every earthquake makes another earthquake more likely."

The Northridge earthquake struck on January 17, 1994, at 04:31 a.m. Its centre was in Reseda, a neighborhood in the north-central San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, California. Apart from number of people killed and injured, it was recorded as one of the costliest natural disasters in U.S. history, with damages to infrastructure recorded worth more than $20 billion.

Los Angeles has been hit by at least 15 earthquakes between January and March. These ranged between magnitude 1.0 and 2.5 hit between in the Santa Monica Mountains near Wilacre Park, the Los Angeles Times reported.

It experienced a magnitude 5.1 in La Habra, which also hit Fontana and Rowland Heights. There was also a 4.4 quake recorded on March 17 in Encino and just this past Sunday, a 4.2 temblor a few miles away in Brentwood.

Scientists are also looking if the increase in earthquakes have any relation to the fracking activities in the area, such as in the case of the La Habra quake which happened in a region that has seen significant oil extraction over the decades.

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(Photo: / )
A firefighter walks through the "War of the Worlds" movie set at Universal Studios after a mobilization exercise to prepare for earthquakes and other disasters in Los Angeles, California May 21, 2014. FEMA and the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services were testing the Urban Search
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