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Town Near Border With Mexico Starts New Year With Earthquake Swarm

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Remember that swarm of earthquakes near the Salton Sea that sent us into a minor panic back in September? Another one has hit the same geological area to ring in 2017, but scientists say its nothing for us to worry about—especially in Los Angeles.

Over 250 small earthquakes have hit the town of Brawley—which is about halfway between the southern end of the Salton Sea and the border with Mexico—since New Year's Eve, reports the L.A. Times. The largest in this swarm was only a magnitude 3.9, which might just feel like a truck passing by your house. Unfortunately, New Year's fireworks coupled with the quakes scared a few of the town's dogs, causing a few to go missing over the weekend.

The quakes struck what seismologists call the Brawley Seismic Zone, a particularly active region where the land is actually spreading. It can be of some concern for us in Los Angeles—like it was back in September—because it connects the San Andreas Fault with the Imperial Fault, but this most recent swarm was too far away from the San Andreas Fault to be of any concern for those of us in the greater urban centers.

Like she has done many times before, let Dr. Lucy Jones soothe your big earthquake fears.

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"This area may have produced the most earthquakes in the entire state of California, but they are small," Jones told CNN. "If they happened a mile away we would be concerned, but these quakes are about 30 miles from the San Andreas Fault."

The last major swarm to hit Brawley was in 2012, with the largest being a magnitude 5.4. A few buildings were damaged in the city's downtown.

Even though the latest Brawley swarm should be of no concern for us in L.A., it's simply a matter of "when," not "if." Check out our guide to making sure you're prepared when the Big One hits.