California earthquake WARNING: ‘Only a question of time’ until next BIG ONE, experts warn

Thursday, April 19, 2018
By Paul Martin

A CALIFORNIA fault line is a ‘tectonic time bomb’ and if a major earthquake hit it would be “potentially catastrophic”, a new study has warned. It comes amid a warning by scientists that California is overdue for the “big one”. So what are the potentially devastating if an earthquake hit the west coast of the US?

Thu, Apr 19, 2018

It has been 112 years since the 1906 earthquake devastated San Francisco, killing 3,000 people and destroying 80 percent of the city.

A new report has been published on the potential effects if a hypothetical major 7.0 earthquake struck directly under the city of Oakland on the Hayward fault.

The U.S Geological Survey (USGS) released the HayWired Earthquake Scenario on Wednesday – the 112th anniversary of the Great Quake of 1906 – on what could happen if an earthquake hit the fault line, which runs under the highly populated East Bay corridor.

The Hayward fault has been dubbed the most active and dangerous faults by the USGS and is the lesser-known than the nearby San Andreas fault, which runs under the heart of the East Bay.

The study has been released amid a warning by scientists that “it’s only a question of time” until the Big One hits the San Andrea fault line in California.

Seismologists have said California is overdue a massive earthquake which would cause a significant amount of destruction, although it would be impossible to predict when this would happen.

A “big one” quake of magnitude 8.0 near the San Andreas fault would break several hundred miles along the faultline.

Peggy Hellweg, a seismologist at the University of California, Berkeley, said: “There is a 99.9% chance that there will be a damaging quake (magnitude greater than or equal to 6.7) somewhere in California in the next 30 years.

“We don’t have any idea exactly where and when such a quake can happen.”

The average time between quake tends to be between 100 to a few hundred years and so the southern part of California is due or even overdue for another big earthquake, Jen Andrews, a seismologist at the Caltech Seismo Lab said.

“It’s reasonable for California to be concerned about earthquake hazard and the ‘big one’ as it’s only a question of time. Earthquakes are unpredictable though, so then when and where are very difficult to say and we can only talk in terms of ‘likelihood’.”

The scenario put forward by the UGGS said if a major earthquake occurred today along the Hayward fault around 2,500 people could get trapped in the rubble, it could result in the death of 800 people, 18,000 injured people and 22,000 people rescued from stalled elevators.

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