California braced for Big One as SEVEN earthquakes rumble through state in days

Friday, January 12, 2018
By Paul Martin

FEARS of the Big One in California are mounting after seven earthquakes hit in just four days. Californians renewed vigilance since millions of San Francisco residents were woken by three earthquakes measuring up to 4.4 magnitude in Berkley and Bay Area on January 4.

Fri, Jan 12, 2018

Since then, seven earthquakes have rumbled below the earthquake-stricken state which on top of the potentially catastrophic Hayward Fault line – a chasm between two massive plates of the Earth’s crust that extends hundreds of miles across the country.

There is also the San Andreas fault – a deadly line which runs through California and is one of the most seismically active regions in the world.

Residents fear an “inevitable” magnitude 7.0 earthquake or greater – known as the ‘Big One’.

According to the US Geological Survey, the most recent earthquake hit yesterday at 7.41pm (UTC time) – with a magnitude of 2.9.

On the same day, another 2.6 magnitude tremor hit along with a 3.1 quake at just gone midnight.

On Wednesday California was struck by two quakes of magnitudes 2.8 and 2.6, with another two on Tuesday January 9 measuring 2.7 and 2.9.

All the earthquakes struck along the Hayward Fault – a “tectonic time bomb” due to be struck by a huge earthquake at any moment.

In 2008, the USGS found there was a 99 percent chance of a huge quake hitting California, which sits on the San Andreas fault which is part of the “Ring of Fire”.

A report warned a huge quake of this size could kill 1,800 people, injure 53,000, and cause $214billion (£162billion) of damage.

Beneath California, the Pacific and North American tectonic plates are moving northward – although the former is moving quicker leading to a build up of tension.

A powerful earthquake in 1857 released some of this pressure, but much more still exists, and Robert Graves, a research geophysicist at USGS, suggests the Big One could be overdue by 10 years.

He told Raw Story: “The San Andreas fault in southern California last had a major quake in 1857 (magnitude 7.9).

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