Uh oh! Southern Californians could finally be in for ‘The Big One’ as a swarm of 200 small quakes near the San Andreas fault has seismologists on high alert. Keep reading for 5 things to know about the fault line that could spell doom for millions of people.
1.. The San Andreas Fault runs along nearly all of California.
The fault line — first identified in 1895 on its northern side — stretches 800 miles from the southern California desert all way up the northern coastline to nearly the Oregon border. It’s defined by three separate segments with different sizes and degrees of risk with the largest area stretching just east of Los Angeles.
2. The southernmost part of the fault is long overdue for a major tectonic event, a.k.a. LA is doomed!
The San Andreas fault’s southern stretch that goes from the desert outside Palm Springs to just northeast of Los Angeles hasn’t ruptured in over 300 years, according to scientists. A major quake — 7.0 magnitude or larger — should happen every 150-200 years and a recent swarm of hundreds of small quakes near its southern terminus Sept. 26 had led seismologists to worry that they could awaken the giant beast of tectonic activity.
3. When the southern San Andreas fault finally goes it’s going to be huge!
According to USGS research geologist Kate Scharer, when the southern section finally ruptures, it’s not going to be a mild to moderate. It will likely be “The Big One” that has long been predicted, which would be at least a 7.8 in magnitude. That would be SO deadly and destructive!
4. A major rupture on the San Andreas fault near L.A. could cut off all water, gas and electricity to the area.
The lines that bring those key utilities to the L.A. area all cross the San Andreas fault. The California Aqueduct in particular supplies water from the Eastern Sierra to the L.A. basin and literally runs directly over the fault line. If that thing were to break, what an epic disaster that would be!
5. The San Andreas fault caused the deadliest earthquake in American history.
On April 18, 1906 a massive 7.8 magnitude quake hit San Francisco, killing over 3,000 people and destroying over 80 percent of the city. That included buildings downed in the tremor and subsequent fires that blazed across the city in the days that followed. To this day, it is still the deadliest natural disaster in California history.
HollywoodLifers, do you think L.A. is about to finally be hit by “The Big One?”