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GOLDEN – Scientists at the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden say recent earthquake activity in California and Yellowstone National Park don't indicate a spike in earthquake activity.

On Friday, a 5.1-magnitude earthquake hit southern California Friday night, the latest in a series of quakes there. Early Sunday morning, a 4.8-magnitude quake struck an area of Yellowstone National Park.

"That series of earthquakes and where they occurred in Yellowstone are very typical of the area," said Dr. Harley Benz, scientist-in-charge of earthquake monitoring at the USGS.

Scientists at the Golden facility are on hand 24 hours a day to watch for earthquake activity. Benz says they can locate and measure an earthquake accurately within 30 seconds. Five to ten minutes later, the information is online. Emergency responders use this info to determine the best way to help people in a major earthquake.

The USGS can also determine if locations may be at risk for earthquakes. Researchers work with city planners to design safe building codes for such areas.

"Perhaps sometime in the future we will be able to better predict when earthquakes are likely to happen," Benz said.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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