4.7 Earthquake hits near Gonzales

SALINAS, Calif. - A magnitude 4.7 earthquake struck in San Benito County.

According to the United States Geological Survey, the quake hit 13 miles north east of Gonzales around 11:30 a.m. Monday. It had a depth of about 3.8 miles. 

People in Hollister, Santa Cruz, and Salinas reported feeling the quake. It was felt in parts of the South Bay Area too. 

No injuries have been reported. 

The earthquake's magnitude is one of the strongest seen in the area in quite some time.

"The zone that this earthquake occurred on is called the 'creeping segment' and it typically has earthquakes in the twos and threes [magnitude] but occasionally it has one like this one," said local geologist Bob Barminski, "About five years ago, there were earthquakes of similar size in the same area."

Though experts can tell us how strong this quake was and how far it was felt, they still can't accurately predict when the next earthquake might hit.

"They don't understand the interplay between earthquakes and the build up," Barminski said, "They know generally that the stress is building up and over time, a larger earthquake will occur but how much each individual small earthquake contributes to, that is pretty hard to quantify."

But there is work being done to bring us more answers. Experts are already testing advanced ways of letting people know ahead of the next earthquake.

"They've tested out the concept in California and they're working on putting together that earthquake warning system but it would just give you a few seconds worth of warning," Barminski said.


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