‘No One in the World is Safe’: More Major Quakes Expected Any Day Now

Friday, August 26, 2016
By Paul Martin


After an earthquake killed hundreds in Italy earlier this week, experts warn that an even worse disaster is imminent, as the planet is overdue for high-magnitude earthquakes along Earth’s largest fault lines.

UTS Geotechnical and Earthquake Engineering senior lecturer Dr. Behzad Fatahi warned on Friday that “no one in the world is safe,” and that the question isn’t “if” they will occur, but “when.”

“There are alot of magnitude 6-plus earthquakes overdue in the Middle East, India, China, Japan and the US,” Fatahi told news.com.au. “There are some fault lines that have not released their energy for a while.”

If a fault line, represented by two tectonic plates moving at different speeds and in different directions relative to each other, does not release energy, pressure continues to build, and the longer they go without releasing, the more powerful it will be when they finally do.

“There are at least five to 10 that are overdue, but we don’t know when they’re going to happen. The question is not will they be activated. The question is when.”

In the United States, scientists warn that California, Alaska, and Hawaii are at the greatest risk. In 2008, the US Geological Survey warned that an earthquake of a 7.8 magnitude or greater could result in over 1,800 deaths, at least 50,000 injuries, and cause some $200 billion in damage. The federal agency also warned that sewer systems could be taken out of service for up to six months.

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