Seismologist to Californians: Be prepared for more quakes

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RIDGECREST, Calif. (AP) -- A seismologist says two large earthquakes that were centered in the Mojave Desert in California caused less damage and fewer injuries because their epicenters were away from densely populated areas.

Lucy Jones of the California Institute of Technology says the quakes neither increased nor decreased the chances of a large quake occurring on other faults, such as the gigantic San Andreas.

But she warned Sunday that on average, a quake of magnitude 6.0 or larger is likely to hit somewhere in Southern California every few years. Jones says the outcome will be worse if it happens on faults in metropolitan areas, such as Hollywood.

The region has faults that run through areas with thousands of buildings and millions of people.

Jones spoke at a Los Angeles Country earthquake preparedness forum after two quakes - a 6.4 and a 7.1 - struck Thursday and Friday, respectively.