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NASA: 99.9 per cent probability of magnitude-5 or larger quake in Los Angeles area in 3 years

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LOS ANGELES A study by NASA and university researchers finds there’s a 99.9 per cent probability of a magnitude-5 or greater earthquake within three years in an area of greater Los Angeles where a moderate temblor occurred last year.

The study released Tuesday is based on measurements of how the Earth’s crust was deformed by a magnitude-5.1 quake on March 28, 2014, in La Habra, California, southeast of downtown Los Angeles.

The U.S. Geological Survey has done its own analysis and pegs the probability at 85 per cent.

The probability applies to a 62-mile radius around the La Habra epicenter. In the NASA study, scientists calculated how much strain may remain locked in faults, and they estimated a potential for a quake up to magnitude 6.3.

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