False alarm: Caltech staffer accidentally sends alert for large 1925 Santa Barbara earthquake

latime.com – By Rong-Gong Lin II – A staffer at Caltech mistakenly sent out an alert for a large magnitude-6.8 earthquake off the Santa Barbara coast — from 1925. The error happened when someone tried to correct the exact location of the Prohibition-era Santa Barbara earthquake, which happened 92 years ago. The erroneous report went out at around 4:51 p.m. A closer look at the alert, however, would have shown that something was amiss. The time of the alert was dated June 29, 2025 at 7:42 a.m. But it corresponds with a real earthquake that occurred a century earlier.

“That’s a mistake. It’s not real,” said Caltech seismologist Egill Hauksson. He said that scientists at UC Santa Barbara had recently complained that earthquakes from the region were actually located about 6 miles from where records indicated.

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