Nightly News   |  March 30, 2014

Earthquake Could Cue More Seismic Activity

Aftershocks following California’s weekend earthquake have some questioning if it’s foreshadows a larger disaster.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> holt: in this country, lots of folks still on edge tonight in southern california as more than 150 aftershocks have rocked the region on the heels of that magnitude-5.1 earthquake friday night. nbc´s rehema ellis has more for us.

>> ellis: when the earth shakes like this... ...as it has twice in the last 14 days in southern california , it rattles nerves.

>> woman: i still can´t, like, breathe correctly, because i´m scared that, like, it´s going to happen again.

>> ellis: customers ran for cover at this ice cream parlor . you can see the furniture sway in this 5-year-old´s bedroom. friday´s 5.1-magnitude quake was centered in la habra , just outside of los angeles . since then, more than 150 aftershocks, ranging from 1.0 to 4.1, have hit the area. at least half a dozen houses have been red-tagged for further inspection. are you getting calls from people wondering should they stay in their houses?

>> stokes: we´re doing a lot of calming and educating the public and telling them what to expect. make sure they´re ready to shut the gas off if they have to. make sure that all their children know the exit and where to meet.

>> ellis: southern california gas continues to respond to 1,000 calls about gas leaks, while power has just been restored to nearly 1,000 customers. mike and mickey kasilov, of fullerton, sustained serious damage to their home. the fire department told them their chimney could come down in the next quake. do you think about when that could happen?

>> mickey: every time we feel a tremor.

>> mike: you don´t know if that´s --

>> mickey: yeah, you don´t know if that´s the one.

>> ellis: but could there be a big one in store for california in the near future? lucy jones from the u.s. geological survey said it´s highly unlikely that friday´s quake is a foreshock to a larger seismic event.

>> jones: by the time we get another -- through the end of the weekend, the probability is essentially gone.

>> ellis: but a 7.5 quake on the same fault line could hit the densest neighborhoods in los angeles and prove deadly.

>> stokes: people are very nervous out there right now. we haven´t had an earthquake like this in quite some time.

>> ellis: rehema ellis, nbc news, los angeles .