The mayor of a small southern California town that has been hit in the past week by hundreds of moderate earthquakes and aftershocks has taken the unusual step of declaring an earthquake emergency. Tremors aren't unusual in California, but the swarm has been particularly intense, lasted for days, and caused millions of dollars in damage, said Brawley Mayor George Nava. The swarm began over the weekend, with the strongest quake hitting 5.5 on the Richter scale.
Twenty mobile homes were knocked off their foundation, a high school auditorium was damaged, and a slaughterhouse was forced to close due to structural problems. Officials of surrounding Imperial County are also declaring an emergency. Seismologists don't believe that the swarm indicates the "Big One" is finally coming, reports Reuters. (Read more earthquake stories.)