Experts Warn: Ridgecrest Quakes Could Be Contagious

Ridgecrest’s swarm of temblors is far from over. On Tuesday, the area was hit by its largest aftershock since the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that struck on July 6.

Tuesday’s 4.5 came as seismologists expressed concerns that the responsible fault is growing in size. It could trigger a quake along other faults in the region, such as the Owens Valley Fault in Mammoth or the Garlock Fault in the Mojave Desert, experts told the Los Angeles Times. A large event along one of these could be felt from Ventura to San Diego counties.

"Those are places we would be more concerned," U.S. Geological Survey research geophysicist Morgan Page told the newspaper. "Little earthquakes are telling us where big earthquakes are more likely."

Worth noting: the quakes are unlikely to trigger movement along the heavily populated San Andreas Fault.

Still, “every earthquake actually increases the probability of more earthquakes,” said geophysicist Morgan Page.

Pass the Xanax.