Californians may have been surprised to see alerts this week for a large earthquake that none of them would have felt. That’s because the earthquake happened in 1925.

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology sparked the brief confusion Wednesday, when they mistakenly triggered an automated email alert while trying to edit the correct location of a magnitude-6.8 earthquake that hit Santa Barbara 92 years ago and killed 13 people.

Although it indicated an earthquake that happened decades ago, Wednesday’s alert was even more awry. The alert was dated June 29, 2025.

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