Swarm of small earthquakes strikes Salton Sea area

Ducks fly over the Salton Sea.
Wild ducks fly in formation over the Salton Sea.
(Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)

A swarm of small earthquakes struck a region of Imperial County south of the Salton Sea on Wednesday.

The biggest of the temblors measured magnitude 4.9 and struck after 5 p.m. near the town of Westmoreland.

There were other, smaller quakes, including at least 10 that measured greater than magnitude 3.0.


According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quakes were largely felt in relatively remote regions of Imperial and Riverside counties.

Seismologist Lucy Jones said on Twitter that the epicenter was probably “too far from the San Andreas [fault] to change the probability of a quake on it.” The San Andreas is capable of producing a catastrophic quake known as the Big One.

She noted that quake swarms are relatively common in the Imperial County area and that Westmoreland saw a 5.8 quake in 1981.