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USGS Warns Of Earthquake Hoax Letter In Time For April Fools' Day

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Looks like the April Fools' Day pranks are already well underway as a phony letter using the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) letterhead has been circulating around SoCal warning folks about a "sizable earthquake" to come. USGS caught this baby early and is warning residents that it's a hoax.

An excerpt from the bogus letter reads:

All Southern California residents, please be advised as of this morning March 31, 2014 the state of California is issuing a state wide warning as we have just received information from the states Seismic Warning Systems urging residents in the following areas to be prepared for a sizable earthquake up to but not limiting a 7.4 magnitude tremor.

The letter even lists Westminster, Santa Ana, Long Beach, Newport Beach and La Habra as "warning areas."

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Mike Parker, the chief operations officer for Priority One Medical Transport, received the letter via email and wasn't sure it was real or not. "I thought it might be credible,” he told KCAL9. "We have what they call strike team leaders…I have two of them up in Northern California. I put them on alert that, ‘Hey, if something goes down here, I know you guys are five hours away, but we may need to send additional resources to help out L.A. County or Orange County.'"

USGS took to social media to address the issue:

On its Facebook page, the USGS added: "USGS does not predict earthquakes. USGS distributes reliable and timely scientific information on earthquakes and makes it all available to the public."

We're glad they caught this one before we all got punked.