Most people don’t know how dire the earthquake situation in California really is, according to a top geophysicist.
Many areas of the San Andreas Fault system are now so stressed they could produce large and damaging earthquakes that could kills millions.
However, these major quakes typically occur with no warning whatsoever – and it is only a matter of time before they strike.
Writing for the Conversation, Professor Richard Aster from Colorado State University explains the importance of preparing for the worst in order to mitigate the damage of the next ‘Big One’ if – or when – it strikes.
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Most people don’t know how dire the earthquake situation in California really is, according to a top geophysicist. The colour bar shows the estimated percent likelihood of a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake during the next 30 years, as of 2014. Note that nearly the entire San Andreas Fault system is red
California earthquakes are a geologic inevitability.
The state straddles the North American and Pacific tectonic plates and is crisscrossed by the San Andreas and other active fault systems.
The magnitude 7.9 earthquake that struck off Alaska’s Kodiak Island on January 23 2018 was just the latest reminder of major seismic activity along the Pacific Rim.
Tragic quakes that occurred in 2017 near the Iran-Iraq border and in central Mexico, with magnitudes of 7.3 and 7.1, respectively, are well within the range of earthquake sizes that have a high likelihood of occurring in highly populated parts of California during the next few decades……Read more