The last 24 hours have been seismically active across the United States, with more than 130 earthquakes recorded from California to Tennessee. According to the National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC), there are usually just 50 earthquakes every day in the United States which translates to about 20,000 a year. The Memorial Day Weekend has seen above normal earthquake activity, excluding several earthquakes that struck around Puerto Rico on Friday and Saturday. These numbers exclude the ongoing volcanic and seismic activity occurring in Hawaii.
Fortunately, all of the earthquakes were light, with none exceeding a 3.0 magnitude over the continental United States. The strongest in the U.S. over the last 24 hours was a 3.2 magnitude quake which struck north of Hatillo in Puerto Rico.
California saw most of the earthquakes, recording 112 of the 134 earthquakes in the U.S. over the last 24 hours. California is home to the border between the North American and Pacific tectonic plates, and this plate boundary area is normally rich with seismic activity. The San Andreas fault is the state’s longest fault, considered by experts as the most dangerous too.
A big earthquake is likely, although the exact timing for when isn’t exactly known yet, according to USGS scientists. USGS regional scenarios anticipate 1,800 deaths and 50,000 injuries in the event of a major San Andreas earthquake. More than 3 million homes could be damaged, at a reconstruction cost of $289 billion.
While activity over the last 24 hours is a bit above normal, the intensity of earthquakes remains low and there are still no signals that a larger earthquake will strike in California or anywhere in the U.S. in the immediate future.