California is used to earthquakes. There are small to medium tremors that occur monthly throughout the year. The last major quake to strike California was the shallow 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, often referred to as the ‘World Series Quake’ since it struck during a MLB playoff game. The quake killed 67 people, injured 3,000 and cost $5 billion in damages.
Before that, in 1906, a vicious 7.9 shaker struck the San Francisco area, spawning a city-wide conflagration that killed 3,000 people, destroyed 28,000 buildings, and causing $350 million in damages.
Since then scientists and seismologists have been clamoring to find ways of predicting when the next big one will hit. Most agree that such a large quake is imminent.
A Scary Scenario
One America News reports that last week, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) issued a warning to Californians in general and San Francisco in particular.
Using a simulation, the USGS demonstrated the results of a 7.0 quake striking along the Hayward Fault on the East Bay of San Francisco.
In the scenario, the USGS says that the quake would leave at least 800 people dead, nearly 20,000 injured, destroy 50,000 homes and leave 500,000 people homeless. The resulting damage is estimated to be $112 billion.
San Francisco has done much to ‘buff up’ buildings in the area, but some experts believe that the work still falls short of what is needed. According to some reports, the city by the bay still has around 3,000 buildings composed of ‘brittle concrete’.
“As a society we have to continue to build good buildings and retrofit the older buildings, have infrastructure that is not going to collapse during the next earthquake and then we need to add new technologies as they become available like earthquake early warning,” explained Professor Richard Allen, director of U.C. Berkeley’s Seismological Laboratory.
“As an individual we have to be responsible for our own environments…We need supplies so that we’ll be able to look after ourselves and the people around us after an earthquake.”
The Hayward Fault
Inquisitr notes that the Hayward Fault stretches from “the San Pablo Bay through Berkeley, Oakland, Hayward, Fremont, and Milpitas. In the San Fran bay area alone, seven million people reside near the fault.
David Schwartz, a USGS earthquake geologist emeritus, said of Hayward, “This fault is what we sort of call a tectonic time bomb. It’s just waiting to go off.”
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